Pilot Edition Frequently Asked Questions
Can you explain the Pilot Edition pricing and billing
A Flight Explorer Pilot Edition subscription costs just $15.95 per month. It
includes up to 10 hours per month of flight tracking services. If you exceed 10
hours per month, additional hours are charged at $1.95/hour for up to 50 hours.
If you exceed 50 hours in a month the cost increases to $3.49/hour.
Each billing cycle is one month long, starting on the day you sign up. At
signup, your credit card is initially billed $15.95 for your first 10 hours. At
the end of each billing period, you will be billed for any usage above 10 hours
that you used during the previous period, plus $15.95 for the first 10 hours of
the next billing cycle.
Session times are measured in one-minute increments, with a minimum charge of
10 minutes per session. In other words, for a session that lasts a few minutes,
you are charged for 10 minutes, but for sessions over 10 minutes, you are
charged to the exact minute. You can login
to our online administration system to view your usage statistics, check your
online billing status, view and print invoices, modify contact information, and
cancel your subscription.
If you use Flight Explorer Pilot Edition for more
than about 20 hours/month, or require real-time weather overlays, flight plan
graphics, flight alerts or record/playback functionality, you should consider
subscribing to our Professional Edition
Why does Pilot Edition have a 10-minute minimum?
Bandwidth, plain and simple. When you start Flight Explorer, all the current
data, tracks, etc. are downloaded from our server. This takes a minute or two
(depending on your connection) and places a very heavy load on the server. Once
loaded, we are able to send the updates in just a fraction of that time (a
second or two) to keep your display current.
The minimum is intended to discourage logging on, taking a quick look,
disconnecting, then repeating a minute or two later. It is far more efficient
to send the full data set once, then update it continuously for (say) 30
minutes than it is to send the full data set a dozen times in 30 minutes. Our
pricing reflects that efficiency. By imposing the 10-minute minimum, we are
attempting to make the cost of FE use better reflect the true burden that each
user places on our server and network resources. We hope that this will
influence FE users to avoid frequent repetitive logons which are so burdensome
to the system, so that we can provide faster, more reliable connections for all
Keep in mind the 10-minutes is a minimum, not a billing increment. After the
minimum, you are billed in 1-minute increments. So a 2 minute session is billed
for 10 minutes, but a 32 minute session is billed for 32 minutes.
I have just signed up for my subscription so why does the
Flight Explorer application reject my userid and password?
Flight Explorer uses multiple servers to ensure a fast and reliable delivery of
data to your PC. This means that must we must update all of our servers with
your login information. This one-time process can take up to 15 minutes. If you
get login errors beyond 15 minutes, verify that your account
status is active then submit a support
Do you offer variations to your pricing occasionally?
No. Flight Explorer subscribers appreciate a no-nonsense, straightforward,
rock-bottom pricing policy that brings them the best product and service at the
lowest possible cost.
I connect to the Internet through AOL. Can I still use
Absolutely! When using AOL you need to be using the 32-bit version of the AOL
software, and you need to be connected to AOL before you launch the Flight
Explorer application. You should not have to make any changes to your AOL
settings to use Flight Explorer.
I have more than one computer. Can I run Pilot Edition on
each of them?
Yes. You can install the Flight Explorer software on as many computers as you
like. Then you can login using your userid and password. This way your office
staff and family can enjoy the service.
NOTE: Flight Explorer Pilot Edition does
not support simultaneous sessions for one user account.
Why can't I get Pilot Edition to work through my firewall
and/or proxy server?
You can log on to Flight Explorer via a network that uses a firewall or proxy
server, but you may need the assistance of your Network Administrator in making
the necessary configuration changes to enable Flight Explorer Pilot Edition
access. Here is the basic information that your Network Administrator will need
- If you are behind a plain old firewall (i.e., a protected router that simply
routes the client to the server), all you need to do is make sure the firewall
allows your client to open port 24243 for an outbound TCP connection to
the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition servers at IP addresses FEPES1.flightexplorer.com
and FEPES2.flightexplorer.com. This is done at your firewall, and is
done differently depending on the firewall manufacturer. (You do not need to
make any changes to the settings on your Flight Explorer client software.)
- If you are behind a proxy server (i.e., a box that actually gets in the
middle of the conversation -- accepting an incoming connection from your PC and
making a separate outgoing connection to the FE server), it is a little more
difficult. The Flight Explorer software needs to connect to the proxy IP
address on any selected port number assigned by your Network Administrator, and
then the proxy needs to be set up to recognize the incoming connection and know
to go out on the Internet and connect to the Flight Explorer Pilot Edition
server on port 24243. Once again, the way to set this up on the proxy
server varies by proxy server manufacturer.
If you have any questions about these instructions, we recommend that you first
bring them to your Network Administrator. If you are still unable to connect to
Flight Explorer, please use our online support
to submit any specific problem you encounter. Please include the make of your
firewall or proxy server, and we will try to determine the best solution on a
This product is PC-based, what about Mac users?
Flight Explorer will run on a Mac if an emulator program is
installed. For more information, go to
and search for "emulator".
As a pilot, what must I do to ensure that my flight is
visible in Flight Explorer?
The only foolproof way is to file an IFR flight plan. You will be displayed
when you take off
How can I check my monthly usage or update my credit card
Go to the page
to access your Flight Explorer Pilot Edition account and select between the
various options to view your session logs, view/print your invoices, modify
your payment information and contact information, and change your password.
Can I track aircraft in Canada, Mexico, or overseas?
The Flight Explorer Pilot Edition data stream includes radar-tracked
aircraft in the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico) and
Canada, plus ADS-tracked aircraft on the major trans-oceanic routes from the
U.S. to Europe and the Far East. Some tracked aircraft on trans-oceanic routes
may have certain data items missing (e.g., aircraft type, departure airport,
departure time, destination airport, ETA), in which case those data items are
displayed by Flight Explorer as "--:--" or "----".
Certain map overlay items are restricted in coverage. Only the major airports
in Canada are depicted. Navaids and airways are depicted only in the
continental U.S. plus a short distance into Canada. Special-use airspace is
depicted only in the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico).
Why can't I track VFR flight, military flights, and certain
non-US registered GA flights?
The FAA filters out military, non-US registered, and sensitive traffic. Other
than that, you can track any IFR, VFR (with flight following requested), and
Canadian registry GA flights.
Why do the "OK", "Apply" and "Cancel" buttons sometimes not
appear in the Overlay Detail window?
Flight Explorer was designed to be used at a screen resolution of 800x600 or
greater. Please change your Windows display resolution to at least 800x600. If
you are running on an older system or a laptop that does not support anything
other than 640x480 mode, you can still access the button functionality via the
standard Windows keyboard interface. Pressing <ENTER> is like clicking on
the OK button, pressing <ESC> is like clicking on the Cancel button, and
pressing <Alt-A> is like clicking on the Apply button.
How can I cancel my Pilot Edition subscription and
terminate my account?
You can cancel your Pilot Edition subscription online by simply checking the
Do Not Renew
field on the Payment Information
page. To access this page you must first login to your Pilot Edition account
via the Account Login
page. Checking Do
will still entitle you to the remainder of your paid Pilot
Edition subscription. Your account will not be terminated until the end of your
billing cycle. If you change your mind, you can uncheck the Do Not Renew
field until the end of your billing cycle. You will receive an email
confirmation when your account is terminated and you won't be billed unless you
have incurred additional usage fees.
Why does it appear that there is a delay on Pilot Edition
compared to what I see overhead or hear on an aircraft radio?
The Federal Aviation Administration has recently imposed a five minute delay on
all aircraft position data for most non-airline use. This is a mandatory delay
imposed by the FAA on all vendors of flight tracking services to the general
public. If you are a commercial user in the aviation industry, you may qualify
for non-delayed position data, which is available on our Professional Edition
product. Please contact the Sales Department
for more information on Flight Explorer Professional Edition, and to find out
more about the FAA requirements to qualify for non-delayed position data.
Do I have to login to Pilot Edition to change my Pilot Advisor settings?
No. Go to the Pilot Edition login screen and enter your userid and password but do NOT press ‘Connect’. There is a hot link directly under the password box –
‘Enter ID/PW then click here for off-line Pilot/Personal Advisor set-up’. Click this link and it will allow you to change your settings without logging in or incurring any usage time.