What Happened? N550CD


Yesterday (4/25) I was to meet up with the pilot of N550CD, a Cirrus SR-22, at KBIL (Billings, MT) for an Angel Flight transfer. He departed KGPI (Kalispell, MT) on an IFR flight plan and flew at 12,000 feet. He departed GPI at approximately 1700Z and arrived in Billings at approximatley 1910Z. He never showed up on FlightAware tracking during that flight. It appears that his departure never was triggered in your system, as you do show the arrival at KBIL at 1907Z. It is interesting to note that the KBIL FBO operates a competitor’s flight tracking software that showed his flight from beginning to end. Just curious, what happened?


Did the software show aircraft inbound to KGPI and show N550CD? Or did you type in N550CD and it showed the current position?


That was certainly a quick response.

My question regards the first flight of the day for N550CD from GPI to BIL. He also flew the return trip and it appears that FlightAware tracked the second flight in fine fashion.

For the first flight of the day prior to his departure, I tried tracking him by his tail number and it showed a prior flight earlier in April from Bozeman (BZN), MT to GPI. I then looked at airport activity at GPI and it showed a proposed departure for N550CD, but no actual departure. The pilot of N550CD called on my cell phone just prior to takeoff and said that he was leaving. I tried tracking him again by his tail number and it continued to show only the track for the early-April flight. When I arrived at the FBO at Billings, we tried again on FlightAware and got the same early-April flight. Then the line man showed us on his computer using Flight Explorer that N550CD was in the Billings area. The line man said that he had followed him during his entire flight because he was headed to Billings.


There was no departure message from the FA for the GPI-BIL leg. We don’t (yet) simulate departures when we receive radar position updates for an un-activated flight plan. This glitch is few and far between and one of the things we’re working to compensate for.


Thanks for the quick response.

So, I can presume that other software will simulate a departure when a radar plot is received.

You guys have done a marvelous job with your software. No criticism was intended, I was just curious about what happened.

Thanks again.