Planes seem to vanish

#1
I am new to this site and find it quite interesting to follow planes while they fly above in the skies over my house. More often than not though a plane I am following on the "live" page simply vanishes, is there a reasonable explanation for this? Thank you.
 

Mark Daniels

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Hello Stuart,

Good to see you on here.
Sorry about the disappearing planes overhead.

Our system works via ADS-B data transmitted by the aircraft and received by base stations that send us the data.
The problem you are seeing happens when we don't have a receiver of feed in the area.

Hopefully we can get a feed or receiver closer to your location.
Whereabouts are you?

Regards,

Mark

Mark Daniels
pinkfroot.com
 
#3
Hi Stuart,

I agree with Mark. An ADS-B receiver will have to be installed at your location for plane finder to show the plane.
Hopefully your region will get coverage soon. ;)

Shine
 
#4
Hi Mark and Shine

Thank you for replying and putting me in the picture, or not as the case may be :) I guess we do not have an ADS-B thingy in our area although I have no idea what it is to be completely honest, I'm just a novice who likes to know whose flying over my house.
Is it a device the airlines typically install or is it a "hobbyist" device one can purchase somewhere and then assist the rest of the community to track planes around the globe? I am in Cape Town, South Africa and our airport is located here: https://maps.google.com/?ll=-33.975716,18.60745&spn=0.030784,0.066047&t=h&z=15

From what I have seen thus far planes between Johannesburg and Durban seem to be covered but nothing for Cape Town :(
 
#5
Hi Mark and Shine

Thank you for replying and putting me in the picture, or not as the case may be :) I guess we do not have an ADS-B thingy in our area although I have no idea what it is to be completely honest, I'm just a novice who likes to know whose flying over my house.
Is it a device the airlines typically install or is it a "hobbyist" device one can purchase somewhere and then assist the rest of the community to track planes around the globe? I am in Cape Town, South Africa and our airport is located here: https://maps.google.com/?ll=-33.975716,18.60745&spn=0.030784,0.066047&t=h&z=15

From what I have seen thus far planes between Johannesburg and Durban seem to be covered but nothing for Cape Town :(
Hi Stuart,

Are you willing to share data with Plane Finder? Because you can consider a free ADS-B receiver... http://forum.planefinder.net/threads/free-ads-b-receivers.10/
Read through that and see what you can do. I'm sure Plane Finder would like your coverage over at Cape Town. :D
You can also find out more about ADS-B from here: http://planefinder.net/about/ads-b-how-planefinder-works/

Good Luck Stuart! ;)

Shine
 
#9
I was interested in Stuart's question and the answer provided by Mark. I was recently following a flight being taken to Hong Kong by a work colleague. That aircraft seemed to disappear some time after entering Russian air space, and I couldn't connect with it again: within that area.
The aforementioned question and answer, has put me in the picture as to why this might have taken place. Many thanks all round...

Robbie D....
 
#10
I was interested in Stuart's question and the answer provided by Mark. I was recently following a flight being taken to Hong Kong by a work colleague. That aircraft seemed to disappear some time after entering Russian air space, and I couldn't connect with it again: within that area. The aforementioned question and answer, has put me in the picture as to why this might have taken place. Many thanks all round...
Hi Robbie,

Yes, that problem is what Plane Finder is trying to solve-getting more ADS-B receivers in place so that they can achieve their goal in extending coverage worldwide. ;)
I hope that they are getting closer to their target because a new ADS-B receiver installed means that they are getting one step closer to their goal. :)
Good luck Plane Finder!

Shine
 
#11
Hi Robbie,

Yes, that problem is what Plane Finder is trying to solve-getting more ADS-B receivers in place so that they can achieve their goal in extending coverage worldwide. ;)
I hope that they are getting closer to their target because a new ADS-B receiver installed means that they are getting one step closer to their goal. :)
Good luck Plane Finder!

Shine

Thanks Shine. Replies are always appreciated....
 
#12
Hi Everyone, my "ears" are up so come check out Cape Town, South Africa :)
Many thanks to Mark for all the assistance in getting it all together.
 
#13
Hi Stuart! :D

Congratulations on finally getting the area around Cape Town up and running! :) That's two more places of South Africa with Plane Finder coverage! Now the rest have to follow! ;)
I'm sure many aviation enthusiasts with benefit from this new feed! :cool:

Cheers,

Shine :)
 
#15
Hi, this is my first post on this forum. I was going to ask the same question as Stuartm but thought I'd tag on this thread.

Firstly I want to say how fantastic Plane Finder is. I live in Biggin Hill, Kent, UK and we get planes flying directly overhead to and from London Heathrow. It's great now that I can know everything I wanted to know about the planes flying over.

Back to my question. I assume when you follow a flight, say from Heathrow to Copenhagen, the red 'tail' shows where the plane has actually been and the blue 'tail' is the estimated location until the screen has updated. When I followed the plane to Copenhagen all was well until it got to 5 minutes before landing. Then the blue line just got longer and longer as the plane flew straight and level, passing the airport. Then it disappeared. I found another plane coming in to the same airport and it did the same. Then I tried it again in on a plane bound for Hanover, Germany. Once again it flew by on the same heading and height then disappeared.

(I might have got the colours of the trails wrong but you get the idea)

It's as though when the planes get close to the airport something blocks the signal and it runs on estimated flight path only. I am only guessing. Is there any reason for these occurrences?

Tony at Biggin Hill.
 
Last edited:

Mark Daniels

Administrator
Staff member
#16
Hi Tony,

Ah - sorry about this one. The equipment that was providing data for us at Copenhagen has failed!
We have some new equipment going out soon that will fix this.

The problem usually happens when the aircraft drop below the line of sight of our nearest sharer feed or our own receivers.

We're adding more all of the time so hopefully you'll see this happen a lot less as time goes on.

Hope that helped!

Mark
 
#17
Thanks Mark. Just my luck to pick 'that' airport. I did track someone I know fly from Heathrow to JFK and went fine.

I have passed this website onto many of my friends and they all find it fascinating. My dad especially loves it.

Thanks for a great site.
 
#18
One minor niggle though (which is not related to this thread but isn't worth starting another one for), when tracking a particular flight, it shows a trail showing where it has been. This is great but why should it show where it had been on its previous flight? Perhaps there could be a togging switch so you could turn off the previous flight but keep the current?
 

Mark Daniels

Administrator
Staff member
#19
Thanks Tony,

That is a good point in the trails - we show them for the last 12 hours or so.
We don't tie this up to where the aircraft actually was so it could easily have been for a few short haul flights or part of one long haul.
It is something we have thought about but haven't tried to work around!
Some people prefer the history too so we'd need both if we did make a change as you suggest.
Not too sure that answer was any help at all!!

Thanks also for sharing what we do with your friends and family.
Good to know that your Dad likes it too :)

Mark