FlightAware Discussions

VRS and PlanebaseNG (Lookup aircraft details online)

This might not be the right place for this, and also it is possible that nobody cares what I’m about to say.

I’ve been using VRS for three years now. In the VRS configuration there is the option to “Lookup Aircraft Details Online” – and apparently that feature uses data from PlanebaseNG.

In the past two months or so, I have seen countless numbers of planes with incorrect operator information. So I went to PlaneBase.biz to try and see what’s up, and it looks like they are some sort of exclusive membership now.

At any rate, I just wanted to let people know that, from my experience, if Operator / Operator ICAO information is updated via data from PlaneBaseNG, somebody who massages the PlaneBase database may be [intentionally or not] entering a lot of completely ludicrious data regarding Operator / Operator ICAO information that you would see in VRS if you were to click on a plane. I maintain a highly modified local database and know/anticipate just about everything that might fly over my head. So when I see operator information that doesn’t make sense, I look into it.

Over the past few months I’ve seen countless instances where the Operator information is no longer gotten from FAA database records but rather is replaced with ridiculous things suggesting various [wrong] charter services. For instance, what might list an some LLC (which then if you look up in some FAA documents you find is a charter for JetSelect or something), the data in VRS ends up being replaced with some totally different charter service that absolutely isn’t the Part 135 charter. I have had to edit dozens of entries just over the past couple of weeks because bad data is getting in from somewhere.

So if ya use VRS and are using PlaneBase to pull in information about Aircraft, you shouldn’t necessarily trust an operator / operator ICAO information you see unless you can verify it for yourself.

Here is in the US it is very easy to verify ownership / Part 135 status of US Aircraft if you know what documents to reference and where to find them. So if I see a PJC#### callsign and all the Operator field lists is something ridiculous like “Western Air Charter”, I know something is up. I go and look up the details and verify that in fact the charter company is Pittsburgh Jet Center and not “Western Air Charter / Jedge Edge”.

YMMV

Mike

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Here is an example just caught today:

N325SH

Prior to about two months ago, the operator would have been listed as “G4SP LLC” with no suggestion of whether it was a charter or not. Now it’s listed as “Excelaire” with an ICAO of XLS. Whomever is putting this information in got it all wrong. It’s a Western Air Charter (Jet Edge) charter. Good grief.

If it is truly PlanebaseNG data that is updating VRS, somebody over there at Planebase needs to figure out who is adding this erroneous info.

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I have noticed this issue in VRS as well.

The same sort of problems happen in FlightAirMap but I’m sure they are for different reasons.

Is it possible that look-ups on internet databases are failing and the system is using whatever is already in the internal database?

I’m not sure. I guess that’s a possibility. I never gave that a thought. I will delve further into this. Thanks for commenting though. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one experiencing this.

Mike