Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

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VK4WDM
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Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK4WDM » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:58 am

I demonstrate Flightradar24 at the RAAF museum. It is very popular because I also broadcast the communications between the aircraft and the tower and visitors can see the aircraft tracking in on FR24, see where the various calls are made, and then watch the the aircraft coming in to land.

Yesterday visitor got quite agitated when he saw FR24 and said "that should not be allowed because terrorists can use it for targeting aircraft with missiles, I am going to make some phone calls about this", and left.

What do I tell him if he comes back, the base commander phones me, or the guys in dark glasses and trench coats turn up? :shock:

I did find this article http://loglr.com/i/112079 but I would be interested in hearing what others think.

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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK5TX » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:02 am

I think the data is delayed. Any one can RX the data on 1090mhz as it not encrypted

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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK2FABS » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:44 am

A paranoid member of the public!

FlightRadar24 and competing services are plentiful on the Internet, not too different to the availability of GoogleEarth/Map. Although real time (perhaps with under a minute of delay in location data), it's hardly what potential terrorists are going to depend on. And if the White House is not concerned about the security implication of occasional showing of AF1 on these services, this member of public has lost his perspective. :lol:
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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by ZL3PX » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:48 am

Gotta have a pretty slow missile maybe with a 4 cylinder diesel motor powering it!!

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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK4WDM » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:25 am

A paranoid member of the public!
Yes, of course, but these sorts of people can kick up a real fuss and become a P.I.T.A if they start talking to those who have little knowledge of the technology. A few years ago we had someone complain about us broadcasting the tower traffic because they are "privileged communications" between two parties and it was an offense under the radio communications act for anybody else to listen to them. A lot of rot of course, but I did have to do some explaining to various higher-ups who believed the complaint :crazy:

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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK2FABS » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:30 am

VK4WDM wrote:Yes, of course, but these sorts of people can kick up a real fuss and become a P.I.T.A if they start talking to those who have little knowledge of the technology.
Agreed! Just have to drown them out with facts and objectivity. Way too many armchair experts, way too many paranoid armchair experts who felt entitled beyond what's reasonable. :lol:
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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK3DXE » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:07 am

The data for planes in YELLOW is real time. The ORANGE ones are from some FAA feed and is delayed by 5 minutes.

Just a whack-job paranoid freak Wayne.

If you really want to target a plane then there are plenty of quite visible ones to chose from right above you in most populated parts of the world at any time, and shooting down a plane isn't quite as easy as Mr Murdoch's "keep 'em scared and keep 'em angry" tabloids would have the hysterical masses believe. If you want to target a particular individual on a particular plane, there are a million much easier ways to get at that individual, like when they're on their way to or from the airport. A heavy calibre firearm or IED is so much easier to procure, hide/store and use than a SAM.

All of the above aside, the data available from FR24 and the likes is really only good enough for visual or radio observation and identification, certainly not for targeting of an aircraft. If you have the smarts and/or tech for accurate targeting, then you're not going to be relying on the likes of FR24.
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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK4WDM » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:55 am

I guess we should not be too judgmental - this guy may have been really upset by recent events.

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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK2FABS » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:20 pm

VK4WDM wrote:I guess we should not be too judgmental - this guy may have been really upset by recent events.
Being upset does not justify ignorant knee jerk reactions.
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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK4DU » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:42 pm

Tell him to be alert, not alarmed...

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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK3ZAZ » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:20 pm

VK4WDM wrote:I demonstrate Flightradar24 at the RAAF museum. It is very popular because I also broadcast the communications between the aircraft and the tower and visitors can see the aircraft tracking in on FR24, see where the various calls are made, and then watch the the aircraft coming in to land.

Yesterday visitor got quite agitated when he saw FR24 and said "that should not be allowed because terrorists can use it for targeting aircraft with missiles, I am going to make some phone calls about this", and left.

What do I tell him if he comes back, the base commander phones me, or the guys in dark glasses and trench coats turn up? :shock:

I did find this article http://loglr.com/i/112079 but I would be interested in hearing what others think.

73

Wayne VK4WDM

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Get a life you people
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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK5ZD » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:24 pm

There are much more reliable ways of getting a missile to hit a plane.
I can't imagine any missile manufacturer bothering to use Flightradar 24 as a tracking system :lol:
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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK4WDM » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:50 pm

Get a life you people
Please read the whole thread Steve.

This was a question asked of me by the member of the public in a public venue who may have a genuine, albeit misguided, concern and I was just asking advice about what to say if he turns up again. Making high-handed comments don't help to correct situations like this, careful correct information must be given. Sadly we live in a fearful world.

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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK2XSO » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:24 pm

VK4WDM wrote:What do I tell him if he comes back,
Tell him where he can get a ham radio licence. Then he'll enjoy the company of silly old whinging farts. :D

Using flight tracker to shoot down aircraft. What a Wally!
Isn't he in for a shock when he discovers that GPS might be used to guide missiles to a target.
Maybe we should introduce an error into the positioning system?

One might assume that if you were inclined to shoot down an aircraft that you might have something a little more, err practical.
Like maybe a surface to air missile.
And if you have gone to the trouble of buying or building a missile, are you going to haul it out onto a launcher and fire up your laptop and load up flight tracker.

I can see it now, [Somewhere near Eastern Ukraine]
Major "Ok Yuri, arm the SAM !"
Yuri, "Da Torvarach Major !"
Yuri, "What is the target Sir?"
Major, "Hang on, flight tracker is still loading!"
Yuri, "But Major Sir. Did you not think to buy a radar when you bought your missiles?"
Major, "Who needs radar when you have the internet ? They told me the missiles were IPv6 compatible!"

Who's he going to complain too? CASA?
They'll be laughing too hard to get his personal details and report him to the police as a potential serial pest.

Reporting it to the base commander. Oh that's a good one. Most senior officers have a wonderful sense of humour.
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Re: Can Flightrader24 be used to target aircraft?

Post by VK5PJ » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:33 pm

Trash you sweet talker, of course they are IPv6 compatible, they are from the cold war :D
VK2XSO wrote: Major, "Who needs radar when you have the internet ? They told me the missiles were IPv6 compatible!"
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