With such a huge and dedicated fan base we wanted to find out who were using Planefinder and why.
We therefore got hold of an airline pilot who’s a regular user of our flight radar app and asked him some questions.
Name: Ross Jones
Airline: Thomson Airways
We asked Ross what it was he liked about Planefinder that made him such a regular user: “Firstly I’m a bit of a geek” was his first reply. However, Ross uses the app for much more than just looking at aeroplanes overhead. Planefinder is a useful tool for him while he’s working too.
“It helps me track where my aircraft is if it’s late and tells me roughly where it is and how long it will take to get to base.” Ross can work out an estimated arrival time based on speed, distance and time of his aircraft using the app. He can then compare the arrival time given by the information he has in front of him to the live tracking information Planefinder provides him with.
“So when crewing tell me one thing, I can have a look and say, ‘well, actually, probably not!’”
Ross also uses the app to find out where aircraft are diverted too. On the rare occasion aircraft get delayed due to unforeseen circumstances and get diverted to alternative airports and destinations. Under these circumstances, Ross uses the Planefinder app to look up quickly and easily where the aircraft is being diverted to.
“If an aircraft is diverting, where is it diverting to? Which is rare, but it does happen.
Weather conditions greatly affect the planned route an aircraft takes. As weather conditions en route or at a destination changes during flight, so do the plans. Ross has found the app useful for seeing how other aircraft are being routed when he knows about particular weather systems causing air traffic control to divert traffic along alternative routes.
“Depending on weather conditions depends on how air traffic are going to route us, so you can also see from the app how long a flight is going to be.”
Being a regular user of Planefinder flight radar, Ross has an idea on how a new feature could help improve his estimations.
“A feature I would like to see is how long an aircraft has been flying for.”
Ross uses the app “pretty much every day I go to work” which is great. In the mornings he usually finds his aircraft is already on the apron waiting him from the previous flight. However, if he has an afternoon or evening flight, he tends to use the application then. It allows him to find out where his plane is.
“If I have an afternoon or evening flight, I’ll take a look to find out where it is. So not much for the earlys but certainly for afternoon and evening flights”