NOTE: The instructions here are now outdated. New details available at Adding Aircraft Lookup to FlightMemory: Redeux
Original post below:
A little while back I introduced a BTS lookup tool which allows for tracking which aircraft was used on a domestic US flight based on data recorded by the US Department Of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. It is a cool set of data though my initial implementation left a bit to be desired. I’ve finally cleaned up the duplicate entries in the data and put in place a system which should prevent that from happening again going forward which should help a lot. I’ve also created a shortcut to query the system from Flight Memory.
To make the Flight Memory integration work you must install the Browser Extension (Chrome Store; Direct Download). It should work with both the English version of FlightMemory.com and also the German Version of FlugStatistik.de. Once it is installed any time you are on a flight edit page you will see an extra icon near the Aircraft Registration field (I have no idea why I picked that image, but there it is):
Click on that icon and you’ll get a new window which will use the origin, destination, date and flight number details from the entry in question to give you flight time and aircraft number information.
If you do not have the flight number entered in the Flight Memory page the results will include all flights on that date. If you’re missing either airport or the date the results will be blank as there’s not enough data for me to know what you’re looking for. Also, because the data is from the US Government it only includes domestic US flights. If you pick an international itinerary you’ll get a blank results set.
Also worth noting that you can now click on the aircraft registration number in the search results and get linked over to FlightAware.com to see where that plane is now.
And, of course, there’s no requirement that you use FlightMemory to get at the data. You can always just head directly to wandr.me/bts and run queries on whatever you’re looking for.
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This is brilliant. I suspect there are pretty few people who this will work for, but I’m one of them and I love it. It is a little slow, but it works and helps fill in those gaps I have. I did get one error, below.
Your tool says DL did not have a flight 1279 on that date, but I flew it.
Thanks for making this, I love it.
I only have the data reported to the Feds. If Delta didn’t report it then it isn’t logged. Sorry.
brilliant but does it have international flights as well?
Nope…only domestic because that’s what the DoT collects. And that’s what I wrote a few times in the post. 😉
Here’s another one showing incomplete data:
Your tool (from the WATT webpage, not from the browser addon) only shows one hit, but there are several more listed on the BTS website for AA.
Additionally, and this is not your fault admittedly, the BTS website shows all AA flights in the format N???AA, but in reality the N-numbers are distributed amongst N???AN and N???AM and N???TW and maybe a few others. (How much do you like creating lookup tables?)
I already do translate the AA numbers from BTS format to actual N-Numbers. That’s taken care of before I push the data into my database. In fact, the example link you provide has a N***AM tail number in it.
As for the missing flights, that’s a bit surprising to me but not completely out of the realm of possibility. I’ll see if I can find a pattern to what’s missing.
Now the missing flights are showing with correct N-numbers. Earlier when I tried, the query took a long time to return (maybe it timed out?), so I didn’t see that you were listing the correct N-numbers.
It’s actually pretty easy to have the chrome extension fill in the details back on flight memory. You just need to add a content script to the flight memory page and send a message from the other page back to the background page which forwards it to flight memory.
If that’s not clear email me and I’ll be happy to help.
Heh….I guess I just needed to dig deeper. Thanks for the push in the right direction. Uploaded a new version this morning and it is much, much better integrated. 🙂
Great for filling in lots of blanks in my flights before I started tracking specific planes. One thing I’ve noticed in the data is that the mainline carriers info is all there. But down at the regional carrier level I can find things like American Eagle, Comair, Skywest, but most others seem to be missing (Mesa, Air Wisconsin, others).
No dig on you Seth, like you stated it seems like some carriers weren’t reporting information to DoT. Thanks for putting this together and sharing.
The smallest carriers are not required to report; that’s a DoT thing.
Ahh, that explains it even more then. Thanks again!
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