FAQs

 Planefinder Logo Large

What features are in Planefinder.net?

Hopefully all of the features in planefinder.net are easy to see and use. Just to make sure, below is a list of features currently in place. If you have any questions about how to use Plane Finder please email us at [email protected] or use the form on the Contact page.

  • Live moving planes
  • Detailed aircraft information including photographs and drawings
  • Detailed flight information including arrival and destination locations
  • Filter by altitude, speed or airline
  • Search by location, flight number, callsign or aircraft registration
  • Plotting of historic flight paths (Playback)
  • Embed a location specific map in your own website
  • Share a URL to a plane, a flight or a location
  • Variable speed playback of historic flight data by date and time
  • Share a plane or flight via twitter or facebook
  • Google Earth “Fly Me” simulator

Why can’t I see every plane?

By way of explanation we pick up ADS-B data transmitted by aircraft and received by ground base stations.
Aircraft must be equipped with suitable transmission equipment for them to be detected by our receivers. Currently not all aircraft are equipped – Europe is currently well ahead of the US.
Across the world countries are making ADS-B mandatory for most aircraft over the coming years so this will get better and better too.

See the How Plane Finder Works page for more information.

Why can’t I see planes in my area?

We operate a growing network of our own equipment supported by data sharers across the globe. However we don’t yet have data for all locations.

We are actively adding ADS-B feeds as fast as we can but please let us know if your area is missing and we’ll do our best to help.
If you can share data, know of any data ADS-B data sources or would be interested in hosting equipment for us then please let us know.

See the Coverage page for more information.

Why are some planes orange?

The orange planes show a near real time display of every commercial scheduled flight in North America. Many general aviation aircraft are also shown.

You can turn this option on or off via the Map Options > Show Scheduled Flights checkbox.

This data is received differently to the rest of the planefinder.net data so we show the aircraft in a slightly different colour.
The orange plane tracking is also not quite as accurate as it does not use our own live virtual radar receiver data network, it also doesn’t have the playback facility.

However, we still think it is amazing and wanted to share it!
We will continue to expand our own network in North America as we understand that the extra few metres/feet accuracy makes all the difference!

Plane labels

You can display plane labels on screen by selecting Flight No, Registration or Callsign under Map Options > Plane Labels.
To stop the screen from getting too cluttered, these labels only appear when you are zoomed into a manageable area.

Why can’t I see aircraft photographs for all planes?

Our photograph database is rapidly expanding. If you have a photograph you would like to see in Plane Finder, you can easily upload it via the Pinkfroot website.  All photographs are attributed to the author within Plane Finder and we run regular competitions for the best photographs.

I’ve spotted an incorrect aircraft marker

We already have 28 different types of aircraft markers – we’ll add more if you let us know of any that are missing. They may be small but we still want them to be accurate! Email us at [email protected] or use the form on the Contact page. 

Map Optimisation checkbox (Internet Explorer Only)

We have worked hard to optimise Planefinder.net to cope with a wide range of computers and browsers.

When using Internet Explorer on a low specification device, such as a Netbook or an older PC, you may find that the planes in Planefinder.net flicker when moving.

Switching to Chrome or Firefox to use Planefinder.net should fix the problem.
If you prefer to use Internet Explorer, and not see the flicker, then please untick the “Map optimisations” checkbox.
This is found in the Map Options/Map tab and will give additional CPU resource to Planefinder.net.

Show plane info in pop out window checkbox

Planefinder.net uses popups for photos and as an option for a moveable display window.

If using popups for the display we recommend that you have the popup blocker disabled in your internet browser. This will ensure seamless operation with playback links etc.

For best performance we also recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Further Reading on Air Traffic Control

We’ve created some documents that explain how aircraft navigate and are managed by Air Traffic Control.

The following document explains the Visual Flight Rules used by pilots:

http://planefinder.net/about/visual-flight-rules-vfr-of-the-air

and below you can learn more about how Air Traffic Control manage the busy global airspace:

http://planefinder.net/about/radar-separation-in-air-traffic