FlightAware Discussions

VFR flight plan/flight following tracks not showing.

I’m a Pilot’s for Paws volunteer pilot. For the past couple of years I’ve instructed the people who I was meeting to do a transfer of a dog to reference Flightaware Private Flight Tracker to see where I was in the ATC system. It was useful to them to see if I was running behind, delayed or to view my flight status.

Recently, I’ve noticed that none of my flights are showing up on Flightaware. I’m using flight following normally, because filing a VFR flight plan is an exercise in frustration as it does show up when I call in to activate it.

When my flight does show up, there is typically incomplete tracking.

Does any one know what is going on? Is flightaware only for IFR flights now?


I use for the same reason and sometimes because of system error (??) I am delayed of having to wait for the other party who could not view my flight.

WHATS UP ?? :angry:

There have been similar threads previously. Basically sometimes VFR flights show up and sometimes they don’t, it’s an FAA computer thing.

That’s correct, our US coverage doesn’t include tracking VFR flights.

Well it should!! #sarcasm

Write your Congressperson, they are here to help.

VFR flights with flight following do seem to have a higher likelihood of appearing on FlightAware if they tend to be longer distance flights that are expected to require handoffs to a different ARTCC or Center. We suspect this might be because such flights must be assigned a squawk code that is not “local use only”.

I’ve personally had pretty good luck with getting tracking for my longer VFR flight following operations departing or arriving in the Houston area, but it’s not always guaranteed.

There might be a special phraseology you can request that will ensure that you are assigned a squawk code that is trackable, but we don’t know what that is.

Sure wish you would learn to write in complete sentences. This should be "Write your Congressperson, they are here to help themselves and to screw the people.

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lol, I thought of that but over here in paradise they read and listen to everything. I didn’t want to get anybody, especially me, in trouble.

Talked to a controller at KOSH last year about this topic-- he advised you request the controller input your VFR flight following into in the "N A S " (National Airspace System) , and it will be tracked in Fight Aware, and other 3rd party software. Of course, it still would be on a “workload permitting” basis.

I’ve never figured out when my flights will show on Flightaware. I recently purchased a Mooney and installed a 430W, KT74 with an ADS-B installation. I flew KFUL to KAUN last week and picked up Flight Following at about 3600, but my flight displayed on Flightaware from 600 until I was in the pattern at AUN. On the way home I picked up Flight Following and nothing showed on Flightaware. So, I don’t understand my first flight, why did it show even before I picked up FF? N6995V

And I thought saying once was redundant.

I am told that if you file an IFR flightplan for your approximate departure time, and have ADS-B, you will show up even if you talk to nobody. Flight aware will get your position from ADS-B, but will not show the flight unless there’s a matching flightplan. For flight following, it’s hit and miss whether it makes it into the FAA national computers. IFR plans always will.

If you are feeding flightaware ADS-B data, you can see the raw ADS-B data. I can’t wait until they open this up to everyone.

Oh, and in the meantime, if you are ADS-B out equipped, you will always show up on flightradar24.com, so that’s a possible alternative. Although flightradar24 is to Flightaware as Linux is to MacOS, or WingX is to Foreflight, if you know what I mean…

I would like to respectfully disagree. I believe these are two separate issues.
Yes, not all VFR flights show up on FA and that is due to the fact that not all flights are entered into the NAS. But if they are, they should show up. And that is a brand new bug. I posted a separate thread on that.
I noticed the same thing: a few weeks ago, FA stopped showing some flights. I remember actually having seen the flights after I’ve performed them but now they do not show on the map. (though the flights are in the FA DB and show up on the history page)
Also, I cannot see IFR flights either. Scheduled airline flights etc. No flights show up on the map for me. So this is definitely a bug.

FA folks, please look into it and bring our flights back.
Thank you

If you FILE an IFR flight plan. Then tell the controller that you want to just get VFR Flight follow and have an IFR on file you make his job very EZ and it will show up EVERY time! It has to do with if it is ever entered in the MAIN system or just a local center system. The IFR goes into the main system and if you fly thru 2 centers you will never get booted and have to retry with the next center. You get a handoff each time, even if they are very busy. They look and think you are IFR capable and allow you thru.

I flew from Indiana to Virginia yesterday (05 Sept).

I asked for VFR flight following from Indy Approach. Was handed off across three states (Ohio, W Virginia, Virginia). Talked to Cincinnati Center, Indy Center, Huntington Approach, Potomac Approach, etc.

So I was definitely ‘in the system’. And yet…

…nothing on Flightaware!

And that’s after telling the wife to watch my progress on Flightaware.

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The couple times I’ve tried that, ATC didn’t like it. They were all confused and told me it doesn’t make their life any easier. Oh well…

Have you tried the not-so-well-known workaround?
You must log in to the webpage as a user (it does not work in apps yet) and in your account settings enable “Position-only flights”. (aka VFR flights)
Then you can view the non-IFR flights on the webpage. (again, not in the app)

Hope this helps.

Thanks Lou!
That worked for me. I also noticed it said" This flight is restricted from public view." Any idea who does that restricting? I can see my track in Foreflight but I wonder why the restriction on Flightaware? Obviously the data is there…