FlightAware Discussions

What a diffence a ballon makes to tracking stats

Normally the tracking at Cocos Keeling Island shows 5 to 20 aircraft a day mainly made up of aircraft flying between Gulf countries and AU/NZ airports. Depending on weather and prevailing winds the routes often take them out of range of Cocos Island.

Today the Hourly Received graph shows continuous reception of aircraft for the last 24 hours.


First thought was a plane remaining on the ground had left its ADS-B transmitter on but Coverage Graph shows it mainly 80NM to the WSW.

Turns out it is an HBAL balloon hovering around for a few days.

It is amusing that a single balloon can so significantly skew the statistics at a remote site where not much happens. There was another balloon nearby a few days ago.



If it’s not moving and continously in sight, seem to be expected

Once I worked out it was a balloon moving at 4kt it was expected or at least explainable.

When I first noticed the very unusual Hourly Received Reports it wasn’t the first thing that came to mind.

Being in the middle of an ocean with nothing for over 500 miles in any direction leads to unexpected outcomes.



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