These days with tons of great smartphone apps there are many tools and utilities that can be very beneficial to RC pilots especially in making sure safety is of primary concern with the air space around your flying field or your home if you live near an airport. I happen to live within 5 miles of a local general aviation airport in the area. There can be quite a bit of air traffic coming in and out of the area on a busy day.
I discovered an app in the Google Play market as well as on the IOS app store called FlightAware. FlightAware’s website allows you to get a taste of what the app can do – live flight tracking, searching for tail numbers, flight plans, and airports. Besides the live flight tracking feature of the website as well as the apps, the main tool is the scheduled flight plans of planes arriving, departing, and en route to airports.
You can plug in your local airport for instance and you can see real time the filed flight plans that have a plane arriving or leaving your local vicinity. It is handy to be able to pull up the app and see if there is traffic about to be in your area. Of course most of what you will see in the live tracker is commercial traffic flying well into the thousands of feet in altitude which we would never come in contact with. The schedule part of the app is to me the gravy for RC pilots.
Aside from being a really handy tool for RC pilots, being the aviation nut that I am, it has a really geeky cool factor that I just love.
You can also follow certain planes by their tail identifications or other criteria.
Photos courtesy of Google Play store