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FLIGHT TRACKING

Pilot Edition Frequently Asked Questions

Can you explain the Pilot Edition pricing and billing procedures?
Why does Pilot Edition have a 10-minute minimum?
I have just signed up for my subscription so why does the Flight Explorer application reject my userid and password?
Do you offer variations to your pricing occasionally?
I connect to the Internet through AOL. Can I still use Pilot Edition?
I have more than one computer. Can I run Pilot Edition on each of them?
Why can't I get Pilot Edition to work through my firewall and/or proxy server?
This product is PC-based, what about Mac users?
 
As a pilot, what must I do to ensure that my flight is visible in Flight Explorer?
How can I check my monthly usage or update my credit card information?
Can I track aircraft in Canada, Mexico, or overseas?
Why can't I track VFR flight, military flights, and certain non-US registered GA flights?
Why do the "OK", "Apply" and "Cancel" buttons sometimes not appear in the Overlay Detail window?
How can I cancel my Pilot Edition subscription and terminate my account?
Why does it appear that there is a delay on Pilot Edition compared to what I see overhead or hear on an aircraft radio?
Do I have to login to Pilot Edition to change my Pilot Advisor settings?

Can you explain the Pilot Edition pricing and billing procedures?

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.

NOTE: 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 our users.

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 request.

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 Pilot Edition?

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 to know:
  • 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 form 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 case-by-case basis.

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 www.apple.com 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 information?

Go to the Account Login 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 Not Renew 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.
 
 
 
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