Air Force One, the plane that transports the President of the United States, is arguably the most famous aircraft in the world. But can you actually track its flights in real-time using flight tracking websites like Flightradar24? The short answer is sometimes, but with limitations.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about tracking Air Force One on Flightradar24. We’ll discuss when and how the presidential aircraft shows up on flight trackers, the special callsigns it uses, as well as some example flights you may be able to follow.
When Air Force One Flights May Appear on Flightradar24
Scheduled International Trips Often Trackable
Air Force One, the iconic aircraft that serves as the official mode of transport for the President of the United States, occasionally appears on Flightradar24. While not all flights are visible due to security concerns, scheduled international trips are often trackable on the popular flight tracking website.
This means that aviation enthusiasts and curious individuals can keep an eye on the President’s travels around the world.
When Air Force One embarks on an international journey, it typically follows established flight routes and protocols. These flights are more likely to be visible on Flightradar24 as they adhere to standard aviation procedures.
It is important to note that the exact timing of the flight may not always be available, so users may need to keep an eye out for updates and notifications.
Flightradar24 provides real-time tracking of flights using data from various sources including ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) receivers. These receivers pick up and transmit aircraft information, such as location, altitude, and speed, allowing users to track flights all over the world.
When Air Force One is within range of these receivers and its transponder is active, its flight information can be displayed on Flightradar24 for users to see.
Domestic Legs Sometimes Visible
While international trips are more likely to be trackable, domestic legs of Air Force One flights may also occasionally appear on Flightradar24. However, it is important to note that these sightings are less frequent compared to international trips.
The decision to track domestic legs depends on various factors, including security concerns and the specific flight route being taken.
When Air Force One operates within the United States, it often flies at higher altitudes where it may not be easily detected by ADS-B receivers. Additionally, the aircraft may use different flight procedures, including temporary flight restrictions, to ensure the safety and security of the President.
These factors contribute to the limited visibility of domestic flights on Flightradar24.
Air Force One Callsigns Used When Tracked
When Air Force One is tracked on Flightradar24, it is typically identified by its distinct callsign. The callsign used for the President’s aircraft is often “AIR FORCE ONE” or “SAM” (Special Air Mission) followed by the flight number.
This helps users differentiate the President’s flight from other aircraft on the radar.
It is important to keep in mind that the callsign used may vary depending on the specific mission and circumstances. In some cases, different callsigns may be used for security reasons or to maintain operational secrecy.
As a result, users tracking Air Force One on Flightradar24 may need to be vigilant and familiarize themselves with the usual callsigns associated with the President’s aircraft.
Limitations to Tracking Air Force One
While Flightradar24 is a popular tool for tracking flights around the world, there are certain limitations when it comes to tracking Air Force One, the official aircraft of the President of the United States.
These limitations are in place for security reasons and to ensure the safety of the President and other officials onboard.
Many Flights Not Tracked for Security Reasons
One of the main limitations to tracking Air Force One on Flightradar24 is that many of its flights are not visible on the platform. This is done intentionally to prevent potential threats from tracking the President’s movements.
The security of the President is of utmost importance, and therefore, certain flights are kept confidential and not made available to the public.
It’s important to note that this limitation applies not only to Air Force One but also to other military and government aircraft. The exact details of these flights are kept confidential to maintain security.
Data Transmissions Sometimes Disabled Mid-Flight
Another limitation to tracking Air Force One on Flightradar24 is that data transmissions from the aircraft can sometimes be disabled mid-flight. This is done to prevent the real-time tracking of the aircraft’s location and flight path.
It is a security measure to ensure that the President’s movements remain undisclosed to the public and potential threats.
While this limitation may be frustrating for aviation enthusiasts and those interested in tracking Air Force One, it is an essential step in maintaining the security and safety of the President.
Some International Legs Removed After Landing
After Air Force One lands at an international destination, some legs of the journey may be removed from public view. This is done to protect the privacy and security of the President and other officials onboard.
Once the aircraft has safely landed, it is important to limit the public’s access to specific flight details to prevent any potential threats or security breaches.
These limitations are put in place to ensure the safety and security of the President and the integrity of Air Force One as a symbol of the United States. While it may be disappointing for those interested in tracking the aircraft’s every move, it is crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of the President and those onboard.
Example Air Force One Flights Tracked on Flightradar24
President Biden Asia Trip November 2022
During President Biden’s Asia trip in November 2022, Air Force One made several notable flights that were tracked on Flightradar24. One of the most significant flights was from Washington, D.C. to Tokyo, Japan. This flight took approximately 13 hours and covered a distance of over 6,000 miles.
Flightradar24 allowed aviation enthusiasts and the public to track the progress of Air Force One in real-time, providing an exciting opportunity to witness the President’s journey.
President Trump UK State Visit June 2019
In June 2019, President Trump embarked on a state visit to the United Kingdom. Air Force One’s flight from Washington, D.C. to London was closely monitored by aviation enthusiasts and the media using Flightradar24.
The flight path took the President and his entourage over the Atlantic Ocean, covering a distance of approximately 3,700 miles. Tracking Air Force One’s journey on Flightradar24 allowed people around the world to follow the President’s movements and anticipate his arrival in the UK.
President Obama Cuba Visit March 2016
One of the most historic flights tracked on Flightradar24 was Air Force One’s trip to Cuba in March 2016, during President Obama’s visit. The flight from Washington, D.C. to Havana, Cuba marked the first time a sitting U.S. President had visited the country in nearly 90 years.
Flightradar24 provided real-time tracking of Air Force One as it made its way across the Caribbean Sea, covering a distance of approximately 1,200 miles. This momentous occasion was made even more special by the ability to follow the President’s journey on Flightradar24.
Flightradar24 has become an invaluable tool for aviation enthusiasts, journalists, and the general public. It allows users to track flights all over the world, including high-profile flights like those of Air Force One.
The ability to follow these historic journeys in real-time provides a unique insight into the travel patterns of world leaders and showcases the capabilities of modern technology. Whether it’s tracking Air Force One or any other flight, Flightradar24 is a fascinating resource for anyone interested in aviation.
While following Air Force One in real-time has some challenges, flight tracking websites like Flightradar24 do occasionally provide glimpses of the president’s aircraft in action.
With an understanding of when these flights may be visible, the special callsigns used, and some past examples, you’ll know what to look for to spot Air Force One on flight trackers when opportunities arise.