MWC 2015: A Great Time To Try Plane Finder [review]

Written by Ant Pruitt

Just in time for MWC 2015 travelers, check out Plane Finder. It’s the Waze of air travel. Review.

aNewDomain — Growing up in the South, you really get a sense of how southern gentlemen care for their families. Especially their mothers. When I moved away for college, I mean, my mother was pretty insistent I let her know of my whereabouts during any travel. If I took a trip to the beach, she wanted to know which exit I was near and how much longer was my drive.

Even today, when I drive to her home that’s only two hours away, I have to use Waze on my Android phone so she knows my location. Well now, Ms. Pruitt’s boy is about to fly across the Atlantic ocean for Mobile World Congress (MWC 2015). I’m pretty sure Waze won’t work during air travel. In comes Plane Finder. Here’s my review.


Talk about a cool website! Plane Finder uses automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast signals (ADS-B) to track the flight paths of commercial and private aircraft all over the world. The ADS-B is the same communication signal used by the air traffic control towers of airports. Coordinates of aircraft are transmitted from GPS systems down to the planes and air traffic control towers allowing for safe airspace among the thousands of planes flying the skies daily.

Similar to Waze, Plane Finder uses this data to live stream virtually any plane’s flight status. Plane Finder takes the ADS-B data and adds useful information such as the flight’s departure time and even related photos of the aircraft. The best feature of Plane Finder is the real-time tracking of a plane. With this tool, you can isolate a flight of your choice based on carrier and flight number, and you can see the plane move across the map. Just zoom in for a closer look. Here you can see a FedEx flight en route to delivering someone’s parcel.


So as I hit the friendly skies for Barcelona, I’ll be sure to share Plane Finder with my family so they can keep up with my trip progress. It’s a free, interesting and entertaining way to keep up. Try it yourself on your next flight. Just be sure to leave the flight number with your family. See ya at Mobile World Congress!

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Screenshots courtesy of Ant Pruitt.

Featured Image courtesy of EROL via Flickr Creative Commons.