vfr tracking

Hey guys do they still track vfr flights on flight following ? Did a couple trips this weekend and didn’t see anything.

We don’t always receive complete data for VFR flights but if you could supply the tail number I will gladly take a look?

From the FAQ

Can FlightAware track VFR flights? What about a VFR flight with a flight plan? (Back to top)
In the US and Europe, this is not officially supported although some VFR aircraft with flight following are available on the position maps but it is largely unreliable and arrival/departure/flight plan data is often not available. VFR flight plans are irrelevant and only used by FSS for search and rescue. We suggest ensuring that aircraft are on an IFR flight plan from wheels up to wheels down for proper tracking.

In Australia, VFR flights are supported by FlightAware as long as they have been assigned a transponder code.

But this doesn’t make sense, because it used to work anytime I was VFR on flight following just a few months ago, now nothing. Something had to have changed recently.

Something changed in the first half of January '16 because all of my VFR flights with flight following used to show up on Flight Aware and now none of them do. We used to use this to track students on their cross country flights, etc., and now nothing is showing up. Very strange.

After looking into the issue, we have determined that there was an undocumented change made by the FAA in January that may have prevented some VFR data from being received by FlightAware. FlightAware has not made any changes in the way we handle VFR flights, however, since the FAA update, there has been an increase in VFR flights not displaying. We are currently looking at ways to make more VFR data available. It has long been the policy of the FAA that VFR flights are not distributed to the public: flightaware.com/about/faq#vfr, however, there have been times where this data has been shown. Thank you for your patience while we look at alternatives for providing the data.

Can we get a definitive answer and an ETA on a resolution?

I know many people who do not want to file IFR just to be able to be tracked.

VFR flight support varies by coverage area. They’re supported in Australia as long as you’ve been assigned a discrete transponder code, but not in the US/CA/NZ since the VFR flightplans are not supported by our feeds from the ANSPs in those countries. We do not expect any changes to this in the near future. Some VFR flights may appear as position-only flights which you can see on the site if you’re an ADS-B feeder.

Information about VFR flights is also available in our FAQ at flightaware.com/about/faq#vfr

Any updates on this?

Would really like to be able to track VFR flights using flight following.


We don’t expect the return of any flightplans for VFR flights with flight following in our feed from the FAA. After last weekend’s FAA maintenance there’s even less information about VFR flights available from them, in line with implementing their long-standing policy not to provide information about VFR flights.

That’s a shame, as this was a extraordinarily useful feature. Please do let us know if there’s any change. Thanks.

Wow, that kind of kills the need for Flight aware tracker/feeder doesn’t it?
Why would the FAA care about the ability to track Vfr flights?

We have recently released a feature to allow you to view position-only flights (flights without a flight plan) such as a VFR flight with flight following or ADS-B positions; follow these steps:

(You will need to be on the web version of FlightAware. These instructions will not work on the app or mobile site)

  1. Ensure you are either logged into your account or join FlightAware at the following link (flightaware.com/account/join/). You will need to activate your account via email after joining.
  2. Go to your account at the following link (flightaware.com/account/manage) or click on your name or username in the top left hand corner of the site.
  3. Look for a section titled “Position-Only Flights” and click the button for “show position-only flights”
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save”
  5. It could take up to 15 minutes for your account to be updated after you save; After this time, simply search for a tail number or flight from the search bar located at the top-center of the page.

Please contact us (flightaware.com/about/contact/​) if you have any questions about position-only flights or have any trouble setting up your account.