How to Track Down a Contrail with FlightRadar24.com

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member

Tracking down planes that make particular contrails is something I do quite a bit. So I've made this video showing how I do it, with the hope that it will be useful to other people doing the same thing.

I also discuss in the video why planes sometimes fly in a holding pattern, or make sharp turns, often hundreds of miles from their destination airport. They do this to adjust their arrival time, so they they can fit into their slot in the arrival queue at busy airports.
 

Lisa P

Active Member
That's great Mick, thanks. I check flightradar24 regularly but didn't know about the filters. It can be tricky with the time frame in archived so I always use a UTC time converter so I don't get the math incorrect. I am teaching my grandchildren to use the app (ages 3 - 6yrs). They love it and try to find pretty planes for me with flowers on them (like Air Caledonia)! It always blows everyone away when you show them how many planes are in the sky.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Yes, very useful. It surprises me that the wide availability of flight tracking websites and apps hasn't done more to kill off the chemtrail myth. You'd think that the ability to easily identify the planes leaving trails in the sky as familiar commercial airliners would have a huge impact, but we still hear the nonsense about "unmarked planes" etc.

I think there are two reasons for this:

1) Not every flight shows up. This will gradually reduce as ADS-B becomes more widely used, but there will always be "mystery" planes such as private bizjets and military flights, that people will find suspicious.

2) People don't find the flight trackers very easy to use. I think a lot of that is down to misunderstanding where in the sky planes are, and expecting to find them low and nearby when in fact they are high and far away. Perhaps you could have included your "how far away is that contrail" graphic, as a lot of people seem to look in the wrong place.

(I have a pet theory that quite a lot of conspiratorial thinking stems from poor 3D/spatial awareness - I first pondered this when discussing Apollo photos with moon hoaxers. But that's for another topic...)
 

Lisa P

Active Member
Mick would you be interested in adding more to this tutorial thread?
You could show us how to convert local time to UTC and maybe a link to a site that converts it for us.
Educate us on the Relative Humidity and a link to the best websites to check it?

I noticed a discussion on youtube the other day and a fellow was taking the humidity at ground level to show it was impossible for a certain trail to be a contrail.

It would be great to use a link to this thread in discussions with others so they can investigate all this themselves.
It is a bit tricky at first to not make mistakes like choose incorrect planes and get times wrong and not understand the RH.
 

Marin B

Active Member
Yes, very useful. It surprises me that the wide availability of flight tracking websites and apps hasn't done more to kill off the chemtrail myth. You'd think that the ability to easily identify the planes leaving trails in the sky as familiar commercial airliners would have a huge impact, but we still hear the nonsense about "unmarked planes" etc.
Evidently those tracking websites are actually "Chemtrail Jet Tracking Tools" :rolleyes:

I've tried asking why Flight # such-n-such would leave a persistent trail one day, no trail another day, and then a short trail yet another day. The question fell on deaf ears. Have any of the chemtrail sites attempted to explain this? If they actually bothered to "look up" so to speak, and look at the same flight day after day (or week after week depending on how frequent the flight is), they might come to a conclusion that changes their world view.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
maybe a link to a site that converts it for us
i tried like 3 and they are cumbersome but then i tried just putting the time in Google and it worked as a pop up answer. The only problem i have is i'm not sure now if i am eastern standard time or eastern daylight time now ( i always get them confused :)

so i'm in Connecticut and i want a plane i saw at 2 pm so i typed "2pm est to utc"

utc.PNG
 

Lisa P

Active Member
Evidently those tracking websites are actually "Chemtrail Jet Tracking Tools" :rolleyes:

I've tried asking why Flight # such-n-such would leave a persistent trail one day, no trail another day, and then a short trail yet another day. The question fell on deaf ears. Have any of the chemtrail sites attempted to explain this? If they actually bothered to "look up" so to speak, and look at the same flight day after day (or week after week depending on how frequent the flight is), they might come to a conclusion that changes their world view.
Flightradar24 was one of the things that helped me see sense when I believed in the chemtrail hoax. There were many things that helped but it took a year. Arguing with debunkers was another!
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This site takes atmospheric soundings at 0000hrs and 1200hrs Universal Time http://weather.uwyo.edu/upperair/sounding.html
The site does not "take" them, it just records them. Atmospheric soundings are done by lots of different stations that use weather balloons, then they share these results. There's 102 stations in the US (and around) operated by NOAA.
http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/balloon.html
 

Jan-61

Member
I have another question on FL24:

Mick, In the tuturial you use 'settings>map>metatracks'. This is not visible here, in the new version of FL24.

Is there another workaround for this to achieve those multiple flightpaths? Couldn't find it.



Jan.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I have another question on FL24:

Mick, In the tuturial you use 'settings>map>metatracks'. This is not visible here, in the new version of FL24.

Is there another workaround for this to achieve those multiple flightpaths? Couldn't find it.



Jan.
That's an old hack I wrote for FR24 that unfortunately no longer works. I may try to revive it.
 

Jan-61

Member
Thanks. I will be curious about it. It is handy for identifying contrails when more aircrafts are involved (which is very often the case, as we all know).
In PlaneFinder yet it is possible, but it is not accurate to determine the flying altitude when aircrafts are ascending/descending.



Jan.
 
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