Flight Radar Not Working – How to Troubleshoot and Fix the Issue

Flight radar enthusiasts may find themselves in a state of frustration when their cherished flight tracking tool fails to function as expected. Whether a temporary glitch or a larger issue, the inability to access real-time flight information can hinder their ability to track flights, monitor arrivals and departures, or simply indulge in their passion for aviation. Amidst the disappointment and confusion, these users seek an explanation for the persistent question: why is flight radar not working? With it’s myriad possibilities, ranging from technical difficulties to service disruptions, finding a resolution becomes essential in satisfying their hunger for accurate, up-to-date flight data.

Why Are Some Planes Not on Radar?

When it comes to planes not appearing on radar, one of the reasons could simply be that they’re grounded or not in the air.

A transponder is a device onboard aircraft that receives radar signals and replies with it’s own identification and altitude information. Without a transponder, the radar system is unable to identify the planes position accurately, leading to it’s omission from the radar display.

However, it’s important to note that even if a plane has a transponder, it can be intentionally turned off. This is often done for certain military or security purposes. In such cases, the aircraft may choose to operate in a mode called “transponder off” to avoid detection by radar systems. This approach enhances stealth capabilities and is commonly employed during military operations.

In addition to intentional transponder shutdowns, there might be instances where technical issues or malfunctions cause a transponder to be non-operational.

While radar systems have certain coverage limitations, such as maximum range and obstructions, some areas might lack sufficient radar infrastructure altogether. Consequently, planes flying within these poorly covered areas won’t be picked up by radar systems in the first place.

What Are the Potential Dangers or Risks Associated With Planes Not Appearing on Radar?

  • Inability to track the aircraft’s position accurately
  • Increased risk of mid-air collisions
  • Difficulties in responding to emergencies or distress signals
  • Inability to detect unauthorized or suspicious aircraft
  • Limited ability to enforce airspace regulations
  • Decreased effectiveness of air traffic control systems
  • Challenges in conducting search and rescue operations
  • Potential security threats and risks to national defense
  • Impacts on international flight coordination and safety

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Third, it’s possible that the aircraft is flying at an altitude that’s beyond the range of the receiver network. Lastly, there may be technical issues with the flight radar system itself, such as maintenance or downtime. It’s always a good idea to check for any notices or updates from the radar provider to see if there are any known issues affecting the visibility of aircraft on the radar.

Why Is My Flight Radar Not Showing Planes?

MLAT stands for Multilateration, a method used to determine the position of an aircraft based on the time difference of signals received from multiple ground stations. If there aren’t enough MLAT receivers in a particular area, the aircrafts position can’t be accurately determined, and hence it won’t be displayed on flight radar.

Another reason for the absence of planes on your flight radar could be technical issues with the receiver network itself. It’s possible that the receiver in your specific location is experiencing downtime or maintenance, resulting in a lack of aircraft display. In such cases, it’s advised to try accessing the radar from a different location or platform to confirm if the issue persists.

Additionally, flight radar coverage can vary depending on the region. Some areas may have limited coverage due to factors such as geographical obstacles, low air traffic density, or lack of ground stations.

Environmental conditions can also impact the visibility of aircraft on a flight radar. Inclement weather, such as heavy rain or thunderstorms, can interfere with the transmission and reception of signals, making it difficult for the radar to detect and display aircraft accurately.

Lastly, it’s worth considering that some flight radar platforms may have subscription-based services that offer more comprehensive coverage and real-time aircraft tracking. If you’re using a free version of a flight radar, it’s possible that the displayed information is limited or delayed compared to the premium version.

What Are Some Common Technical Issues That Can Result in a Lack of Aircraft Display on a Flight Radar?

There can be several technical issues that may cause a lack of aircraft display on a flight radar. Firstly, poor or weak signal reception can occur when an aircraft is flying in remote areas with limited or no radar coverage. Additionally, aircraft with certain types of transponders or communication systems may not be compatible with the specific radar system being used, leading to a lack of display. Moreover, technical failures or malfunctions in either the aircraft’s transponder or the radar equipment can also result in the absence of aircraft data on the flight radar.

However, it’s important to note that not all planes show up on flight radar. While commercial aircraft equipped with ADS-B technology can be tracked by flight radar systems, not all planes have this equipment. As a result, some smaller aircraft, military planes, and older commercial aircraft may not appear on flight radar. This limitation means that relying solely on flight radar to track planes can provide an incomplete picture of air traffic.

Do All Planes Show Up on Flight Radar?

This means that not all planes show up on flight radar. Older aircraft or military aircraft may not have ADS-B technology installed, so they’ll not be picked up by the receiver. Additionally, smaller private planes or aircraft operating in remote areas may not have their ADS-B transmitters turned on, so they’ll also not be detected on flight radar.

Flight radar works by collecting data from various sources, including ADS-B receivers, ground-based radar stations, and satellites. This data is then processed and displayed in real-time on the flight radar website or app. However, it’s important to note that flight radar coverage isn’t available in all areas, especially in regions with limited radar or satellite coverage.

Furthermore, there are certain circumstances where planes may choose to disable their ADS-B transmitters. This is usually done for security or privacy reasons. For example, some government or military aircraft may operate in a mode called “Military or Sensitive” where they don’t transmit their position information to the public domain.

In addition to ADS-B, there are other aircraft tracking technologies such as radar and transponders. Radar systems, operated by airports and air traffic control, can detect aircraft within their range and provide tracking information. However, this information isn’t always available to the public via flight radar. Transponders, on the other hand, are used by aircraft to reply to radar interrogations. They provide additional information such as the aircrafts identification code and altitude, but this data may not be available on flight radar if the aircraft isn’t within range of a radar station.

Overall, while flight radar provides valuable real-time tracking information for a significant number of aircraft, it’s important to remember that not all planes will show up on flight radar due to various factors such as technology limitations, privacy settings, or limited coverage areas.

How Accurate Is the Tracking Information Provided by Flight Radar?

  • Tracking information provided by Flight Radar is generally accurate.
  • The real-time data is obtained from various sources, including ADS-B transponders on aircraft, radar systems, and satellite tracking.
  • Flight Radar uses advanced algorithms and technology to process and display this information.
  • However, accuracy can be affected by certain factors such as technical issues, limited coverage in certain regions, and delayed or missing data.
  • It’s important to note that Flight Radar isn’t an official aviation authority and should be used as a supplementary tool for tracking flights.
  • For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s always recommended to rely on official sources and contact the airline or airport directly.
  • Overall, Flight Radar provides a reliable estimate of aircraft positions and flight details, but it may not always be 100% accurate in every instance.


Overall, it’s evident that there are various technical and logistical factors that may contribute to the occasional malfunction or inaccessibility of flight radar systems. While it’s frustrating for users to encounter such issues, it’s important to acknowledge the complex nature of these platforms and the challenges they face in maintaining real-time data accuracy. As advancements in technology continue to be made, it’s expected that these issues will be addressed and resolved to ensure a seamless and reliable experience for all aviation enthusiasts and professionals who rely on flight radar systems.