Weird Routing in a Chopper

Second thread today :blush:

What is going on with this helicopter and why does it say it has only gone from CYOO back to CYOO when the routing obviously shows different on the map?

Thanks in advance!
Brian :slight_smile:

AIR1 appears to be a common callsign/ident used for VFR flights by helicopters; I’d guess medevac, police, or similar.

Both Dallas and Ft. Worth refer to their police helicopters as “Air 1”. I believe Honolulu does also. There must be a similar helicopter on the Florida east coast. Google has over 41,000 hits for “air one” OR “air 1” police florida]. If those units has Flight Following on VFR, you’d get an apparent flight path like that shown from the connection of three active flight areas.

I’m not sure why the most recent IFR path of the “Air 1” at CYOO isn’t part of this pattern also.

Look at AIR1 now! Wow!

Just got a few minutes before the MIB come by. Air1 is actually an Aurora aircraft used for chemtrails. It…
Oh, no! I hear the footsteps of the MIB coming. Gotta go before they catch me!

(You Coast to Coast AM fans out there will know what I’m talking about :slight_smile: )

Could it be Airwolf?! :stuck_out_tongue:

JetBlast :slight_smile:

AIR1 out of Oshawa is the loclally based police Bell 206. The Edmonton, Alberta police also use AIR1 for their police helicopter which explains why tracks keep shooting up to the North. Many other cities use AIR1 as the designation for their police helos so you will frequently see them “tag up” with a slow airspeed and low atlitutde all over North America.

For some reason the system thinks that it is one continuous flight so they fill the map. Where you see very long straight lines is actually the system showing a track from where the last AIR1 disappeard and the next one appeared. Not sure why the only flightplan on Flightaware is for the Oshawa based choppper…or why it’s listed as the Searanger version of the Bell 206. B06 is the standard ICAO i.d. for the plain old Jetranger too.

As for the very long eliptical flight paths I have no idea but they are real because there aren’t any straight lines. My only guess is that they are some type of national security patrol or perhaps air refuelling tracks. Anyone?

Here’s a link to the Oshawa based AIR1 unit:

You’re right, Linecrew about the multiple police helicopters and the straight tracks simply being alternating radar locations when more than one helicopter is active in the ATC system at the same time.

As for why the flight plan says it’s the Oshawa helicopter, I figure that was the luck of the database. The Oshawa aircraft was the ‘AIR1’ entered in the database and whenever any police helicopter is followed by ATC radar, ownership data comes from that unchanging database.

As for the very long eliptical flight paths I have no idea but they are real because there aren’t any straight lines. My only guess is that they are some type of national security patrol or perhaps air refuelling tracks. Anyone?

I’m not convinced of this. On the current Tracking map for AIR1, your explanation would tell us that some plane overflow Portland OR, got 7/10 of the way to Hawaii, and turned back, not to Portland, but to Tucson AZ via Mexican air space over Baja California. Maybe some military flight would do that, but it seems unlikely to me, especially since FA doesn’t track military craft, so this one would just happen to file get into the tracking system as AIR1 without any flight plan, which FA would handle as a data line in the historical record. It just doesn’t seem reasonable to me.

Alternatively, there might be some time-average and space-average shown here. Irregular readings involving both Hawaiian and mainland aircraft. Elliptical tracks, not because there is an aircraft on the track, but because the mapping software has curve-fitting and smoothing routines it uses if the data points are widely spaced in time and location.

It’s a mystery to me, too. There is no flight track log data to look at here.

The Toronto-area PD has filed IFR a few times while no other AIR1 operator has, so they get their name on the page.

As for the weird flight track, we just keep plotting positions whenever we receive them, and connect it to the old positions. You see the odd elliptical paths because we’re trying to plot a round earth on a rectangular map.

We’ve also changed the B06 aircraft type to a more generic name.

I’ve got still one more “AIR 1” helicopter. This one is a medical bird - N914ET, registered to East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System, Tyler, TX.

Photo: “Air 1” shows in big letters behind the door.

I happened to see this one on the ground at a hospital helipad just before midnight Thursday night. It had just made a 40-minute hop from Tyler to Plano, TX with a maternity patient.

N912ET is also an ETMC “Air 1” helicopter.


Neither helicopter has an IFR record here at FA.