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We may be out in the boonies, but we’re along the flight path to the Continent (just ask that nice Mr Hitler). Traffic is high and lately I feel sure we’ve heard an uptick.

Enter Uncle B, who’s a bit of a plane geek. He turned me on to a site called Flight Radar 24. It tracks every plane in the sky. Click one, and it tells you the registration, the destination, all sorts of neat flight information.

If you hear one go over and it ain’t on the map, that’s military. We get a lot of that, too.

When you hit that link, if the map isn’t showing your part of the world, drag the screen until it is. Next time, it will remember.

I love the flight arc of planes flying the Atlantic. They always go up and over, like somebody throwing darts.


Comment from P. Douglas
Time: March 22, 2018, 11:01 pm

They’re taking great circle routes.

Comment from SomeVegetable
Time: March 23, 2018, 12:03 am

A song for Weasel and Uncle Badger….

Coming in from London from over the pole
Flying in a big airliner
Chicken flying everywhere around the plane
Could we ever feel much finer?


Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 23, 2018, 12:36 am

What is the matter with you people. You’re acting like the world is round.

That up and over business you see is when they go over the wall that keeps our oxygen and oceans from spilling off into space.
That’s why airplanes are pressurized and have oxygen and fly so high, because the wall is like, 6 to 10 miles high and they have to do that to….uh…

It’s Turtles! All. The. Way. Down!
Sheesh! Get some science!

Oh, and speaking of planes…did anyone see the video of the guy from Lincoln, Cow Hampshire (US state – motto: dine free or go home early! ) took last year of the ‘object’ following a jet in it’s contrail and then overtaking it?

Heh heh. The aliens/government should never have let us get personal video cameras.

Comment from Monty James
Time: March 23, 2018, 1:37 am

Same thing, for ships:


Comment from EZnSF
Time: March 23, 2018, 1:44 am

Love it. And shan’t thank you for making me waste more of my day on the internet…

Comment from MikeW
Time: March 23, 2018, 5:39 am

OMG. I have wasted an inordinate number of hours on that website – Link is a quick bookmark away. I’m near the approach to Dulles – Quite oftem some intresting things going overhead… like the direct flight from Havana to Moscow.
I’m amazed how many times I’ve seen flights rerouted to another city (it shows in the flight’s info).
Very cool to hit 3D view and see simulation of pilot’s view for live flight – Sun and Moon are correctly shown. Love the plane shadow during landing & takeoff – too funny.
Do try the filter feature – only one at a time for free. In&out by airport, by aircraft type, under or over an altitude. Callsign filter “FD” over Australia shows Royal Flying Doctor Service running around. So much more!

Comment from MikeW
Time: March 23, 2018, 5:51 am

Here’s another site that’s kinda amazing. That this info can be pulled together and show in an animation like this is incredible to me.
It shows the current wind patterns all over the globe (updated every 3 hours). Use the ‘I’ and ‘M’ shortcut keys to change altitude, from ground to stratosphere. For full info click ‘Earth’ in lower left, then ‘About’.

Current jet stream hits at why some planes are flying where they are.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 23, 2018, 8:39 am

Before the big crash of 2017, I had links to a site that showed all the world wide dos attacks in real time. Another one showed in real time all the ships at sea from yuge tankers to sail boats. I shd see if I can track the links down again.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 23, 2018, 1:48 pm

Eric, send that link to CINCPAC ( or whatever it is these days).
Maybe they can use it to keep fabulously expensive sophisticated combat ships from running into cheap Chinese container cargo vessels.

Comment from Formerly known as Skeptic
Time: March 23, 2018, 2:29 pm

I have this on my phone. Free App.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 23, 2018, 2:37 pm

So, what does it look like if a plane crashes? Does the icon just disappear?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 23, 2018, 2:47 pm

Maybe stoaty can paint one of these:


Comment from gromulin
Time: March 23, 2018, 3:16 pm

I have an app on my phone that lets me point the camera at a plane going overhead then tells me all the info – origin, destination, flight number. Cost a couple bucks, but great time killer if near a flight path.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: March 23, 2018, 4:12 pm


That’s scary cool man since I’m assuming the app is grabbing the GPS info from you and the plane, figuring a bunch of vertical and horizontal vectors and backtracking through a database to see what applies.
Neat though.
So, neat, and scary. If that’s a commercial app we can extrapolate from there back to what the alphabet soup agencies must have.

Comment from gromulin
Time: March 23, 2018, 5:32 pm

@DurnedYankee. Yep, that’s how it works. Cell tower GPS is scary accurate. One of my kids had some soccer games right next to the landing pattern at SFO, so was a GREAT time killer.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 23, 2018, 5:37 pm

Thanks, EZ!

Comment from Monty James
Time: March 23, 2018, 5:55 pm

Durnedyankee, you might want to check my post of 1:37 AM, above.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: March 23, 2018, 7:58 pm

Interesting comments, thanks. I’ve learned stuff 🙂

Strangely, Flightradar isn’t entirely reliable. I understand it doesn’t do the military but quite often I’ve heard a light plane go over, only to see nothing on the screen. A quick visual shows it’s a run of the mill private plane but it’s just not there. Also have quite a few that just drop off the radar (not crashes, Ric Fan) and others that suddenly, dramatically, change course as if it has been wrongly tracking.

I’m sure there must be explanations and it doesn’t take too much away from the fun. All the same…

Comment from LesterIII
Time: March 23, 2018, 8:31 pm

This is incredibly fortuitous and timely link information, Stoaty and Monty. I am arguing with freight-forwarders and vendors regarding timely updates and information on shipments.

They say it isn’t feasible, especially for ships at sea. Now I can rub their noses in the shit they’re serving me.

Many, many thanks!

Comment from gromulin
Time: March 23, 2018, 8:33 pm

@Uncle B – FlightRadar and other apps are tied into the transponder data from the aircraft. Small planes are not generally required to have the type of transponder these apps use. Or so I’m told.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: March 24, 2018, 12:44 am

I sit under the path to Logan. Actually all of South Boston does. A year or 2 ago the FAA decided to reorganize flights, supposedly to minimize circling the airport or some other such shit. We went from a few hours a day of flights barely above rooftop to damn near 24 hours of planes screeching overhead.
In the summer, the Emirates 1:30 flight out is so heavy that people sitting on the beach or fishing off Castle Island actually duck as it flies overhead.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 24, 2018, 1:51 am

We’re on approach to DFW and Love when the winds are right (that is, most of the time). There is some mongo sized flight that I think is on final at about 2:30 in the morning. I mean it just sounds huge. I’m just to damned lazy to spring out of bed so I can go “wow, look! Plane lights”. I would like to know though. We’re also sorta on the flight path to Alliance and the NAS Fort Worth so it could be some honking big plane like a Super Galaxy or a Globemonster.

But one of these nights!

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 24, 2018, 1:53 am

@Monty James.
Yes I saw that! More cool stuff!

Comment from BJM
Time: March 24, 2018, 3:24 pm

My Hubby is theoretically retired, but still flies twice monthly and I track his flight home with FlightRadar. I can watch his plane make the approach and land at SFO. Having flown into SFO hundreds of times myself, I can visualize where he is over the Bay…it’s very cool…and the touchdown/arrival time is spot on with the airline’s flight status tracker.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 24, 2018, 4:05 pm


It’s military, they fly in the wee hours when domestic traffic is light. We hear the C-5’s and C-17’s taking off from Travis and since Whoa Fat threw his tantrum, there has been a lot of flight activity. The C-5 has a distinctive engine sound and of course they aren’t throttled back for noise suppression, which is what catches your attention….as does a Buff.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 25, 2018, 1:24 am

Back when BUFFs were still based at Meacham I flew “over” one when we were on approach to DFW from Mathis field. They were in the camo colors and must have been playing N-O-E games, or maybe an airshow was going on. We were in a pissant King Air. I have never forgotten that because it was creepy as hell, and AWESOME.

Thanks for confirming my guess on that early morning flight. I don’t mind them ripping around, I just wish there was enough light so I could admire them!

Comment from BJM
Time: March 25, 2018, 6:31 pm


Back in the day, for shites & giggles, a bunch of us would lie on the grass berm under the inner approach lights as the BUFF wings returned at night from their daily run over SE Asia…they would be 25-30′ above us and it was awesome.

A pissant King Air? Man, that was a great plane.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: March 27, 2018, 6:02 am


Comment from geometry dash
Time: March 29, 2018, 1:53 am

I can visualize where he is over the Bay…it’s very cool…and the touchdown/arrival time is spot on with the airline’s flight status tracker.

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