What Plane Is Flying Over Your House?

Airplane buffs will LOVE this!

Have you ever wondered where that plane flying overhead is going and what type of aircraft? Every day you see planes in the sky, sometimes very high, with or without con-trails. We often ask ourselves these questions: What type of plane, Airbus A320, 330, Boeing 727, 747 or some other manufacturer.

Where did it come from, where is it going, what altitude, what speed, what airline, etc. Well, now you can see all this information instantly on your computer screen. I just watched the plane whose vapor trail I could see overhead, on my laptop, and was blown away by all the information and also the view. You are also going to be totally blown away when you see how many aircraft are flying in your area. I can now see why an air traffic controller is one very, very busy person.

Here is a note to help you get more out of your visit to this site. These are all the aircraft in the air right now. In the left hand column, there is a box called “planes”. The number in the box is the number of aircraft airborne This view is what the various airport air traffic management people see for planning purposes.

Some additional tricks: Drag the map to take you to the area you want to view. To view your region or town, you can zoom in by tapping with your mouse. On the map you will see all the planes in the air. When you click on an airplane, on the left screen you will get all the information related to; airline, plane type, air speed, altitude in real time that is re-calculated every 10 seconds. On some you can also click on view from the cockpit. IT WORKS FOR THE WHOLE WORLD!

Check it out!

Man there are a lot of planes in the airspace!

Nice site. Thanks.

Flightaware.com is the other good tracking site.

My Dad sent me this and I had the exact same reaction when I first clicked on the link. There are SO MANY planes flying about at any given time.

I like to scroll way up north and find the lonely little outlier planes that are either puddle jumpers or planes flying almost over the Arctic Circle from places in Europe, etc.

A flight from Paris to Mexico City was over Greenland. I know that makes sense on a sphere, but on a flat map, it just looks weird.

Thank you very much, FoieGrasIsEvil! Fascinating site. Wish I had known about it earlier.

If you mouseover the plane icons, sometimes it says “no callsign.” Why is that? Even small, private planes have some kind of identification. Does that mean they have no transponder? And if so, how can they be tracked on this map?

It appears that the most plane free area is in the temperate zones is the Tibetan Plateau in SW China. I have been reading about that area since I saw I have been Watching CNN off and on about the Malaysian Airlines crash. SW China (north of the Himalayas) looks like one big glacier on the CNN maps.

A reason for this is the MEA (Minimum Enroute Altitude) is above a safe oxygen level in the event of depressurization. MEA ensures safe clearance over terrain, but in that region the oxygen generators will not outlast the time taken to descend to a safe-oxygen altitude because it might be more than an hour away.

Some planes have no electrical system at all much less a transponder.

Even those that do have a transponder are allowed to set it to the generic code in most circumstances and not bother talking to ATC. In this case even if they are someplace with radar coverage ATC knows a plane is there and at what altitude, but have no idea who it is.

We’re slowly moving toward a new transponder system where each transponder will have a unique code permanently assigned to it, so at some point in the future those planes will be identifiable even if they aren’t talking to ATC.

While we’re on the subject of transponders, I always wondered why they were so easy to turn off. What advantage would there be to a pilot to turn it off other than nefarious ones (deliberately trying to disappear?) Why not make it impossible to do so from the plane?

9:45 EST, and there’s a huge armada of planes heading from North America to Europe, all near Newfoundland (yes I know why).

That is a lot of airplanes. :slight_smile:

I remember reading somewhere that at any given moment, there are around two million people in the air.

It’s fun and interesting to look at flight paths for airplanes over the course of their entire flight and try to determine why a particular plane chose a certain course from one city to another. I assume many flight paths from one city to another between planes are nearly identical.

Look out Russia! Here comes the Ukranian armada!


That’s an amazing website. I love watching the orange and yellow planes crash into each other. :slight_smile:
(the orange planes are actually delayed by 5 minutes.)

If you are VFR & below 10,000’ you don’t have to squawk a code and bellow 18,000’ you don’t have to talk to anybody as long as you stay out of all the different airspace’s that require a transponder. ( Under certain circumstances of temp, & pressure this may be not exact but it pertains to IFR more than VFR … )

I don’t know if you can still turn off the altitude reporting feature now but back before 911 you could.

There are times that you will be asked to turn off your transponder for some reason. They need to de-clutter a part of their screen but do not want to block all VFR traffic from their whole scope.

In a high density approach or departure area I was routinely requested to turn off my transponder because of the short flight lines and many quick turns I had to make doing aerial mapping. It really messes up the display in the RADAR room. The computers are not set up to follow aircraft that can & do make 90º to 360º turns faster than the RADAR used for normal ATC or approach control.

The computer loses you because you are not where the computer thinks you should be on the next sweep and goes bonkers, the controller must take time to get it back to your blip.

When they are so busy that that you just hit the squawk button to acknowledge their transmissions. Easier to just blocked off the airspace I was working in and kept everyone out. Easier & safer.

I feed data to FlightRadar24. They wanted additional sites in my area and supplied me, at no charge, with a receiver and antenna. All I had to do was to install the antenna and connect the radio to the internet.
I typically “see” flights within 200 miles of my home.

My radar ID is C-YAW1

I’ve certain situations it’s useful. At one point I had my alternator fail and had to run off battery to the next airport so I shut it and most of my other equipment off to save power. If you have a fuse blowing or breaker tripping you want to be able to shut off equipment one piece at a time to see what’s causing it. Sometimes if it’s sending incorrect information ATC will ask you to switch it off because they’d rather see nothing than something that’s incorrect.

At the altitude that I fly much if not most of the country doesn’t even have radar coverage and as I said before lots of planes don’t have transponders in the first place. They aren’t required when flying over 90% of the country if you’re below 10,000’.

You can. 9/11 didn’t change transponder function. But there are some new-ish rules involving codes. Can’t squawk VFR in the Washington DC ADIZ*, for example, even on the ground.

  • Air Defense Initiation Zone