Nerdy Flight-Tracking Goodness

This week I have been captivated by an app my mum introduced me to. That’s right, my mum… not often I can say that.

It’s called Flight Radar 24, and it shows commercial flights in realtime all over the globe. I would like to state that I am NOT a plane spotter, but this is a whole lot of cool. You can also see it on your browser at

Right now I can hear a plane overhead. My app tells me that it is the Virgin Australia’s DJ189 Auckland-Brisbane service. It tells me a list of information, including route map, photograph, height and speed. I watch it as it heads pasts us and off to Australia.

Flight Radar Screenshot

The app uses information received from aircraft equipped with ADS-B transponders, which is about 60% of passenger aircraft.

You can also filter by airline, model, altitude, speed… A little worrying when you think of modern day terrorism but I guess this information has always been available. Obviously you cannot see planes over every airspace. North Korea is decidedly empty.

As for my mum, she likes to stalk me online in as many ways possible, and this is the perfect tool for my numerous flights.

Warning: procrastination may ensue. I believe it costs about $4 on iPad.


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