FlightAware Discussions

Why does tracking work over water for some areas only

Watching some private/commercial flights, some show complete alt/speed from start to finish over the Pacific. Other flights between shorter legs in the Pacific only result in estimates.

Is it due to the type of hardware at these locations the data is not received or do some of ATC sites don’t bother with private aircraft?

It looks like commercial flights over the Pacific always show the data but private aircraft data seems to be erratic at best in the Pacific.

Many commercial airline aircraft have ACARS connections that can report positions every 30-60 minutes via satellite.

Thank you for the response. The data seems to come by the minute as LAT/LONGs changes and if I recall ACARS is an up/down messaging system that probably does contain position but as noted above one can watch the flight log and see changes pretty rapidly. Now maybe the system is estimating the LAT/LONG based on previous data and updating accordingly.

Not sure… :slight_smile:

Just look at the track log page for that flight and you can see the reporting facility of each position that we have for it. Usually it will be radar (ie: “Gander Center”, etc) until it gets too far from shore. “Transoceanic positions” are sent over longer range radio at less frequent intervals. Positions marked “approximate” are just mathematically computed based on last position and heading.