One of the minor features I’ve added to the flight log is country flags for tail numbers. Every aircraft is registered to one country, and each country has its own assigned format for tail numbers, so it’s possible to look at each tail number and determine what country it’s from.
Since this operation is matching a string to a pattern, it made sense to create regular expressions for each country. For most countries, whose tail number is a unique prefix followed by a dash and three or four letters, this was easy to do. But the United States rules for valid tail numbers are substantially more complicated.
I’ve updated the Flight Log to version 1.3 by adding distances to flights, and by adding more statistics to the annual summary pages.
The home page now shows the total distance flown across all flights. (I’ve used the great circle distance between the airports for every flight’s distance, rather than the actual flight route flown. This is the way that most US airlines calculate mileage.)
At the bottom of the page, I’ve added the longest route, shortest route (for routes that actually have a distance), and shortest net distance (for routes where the origin is the same as the departure, and thus the net distance traveled is zero).
I’ve updated the Flight Log to version 1.2 by adding codeshares, operators, and fleet numbers to flights.
Not all flights are operated by the airline that advertises it; often, airlines subcontract out flights to other airlines, particularly regional flights. In either case, whether the flight is operated by the advertising airline (i.e., United) or a different operator (i.e., ExpressJet), the Show Flight view now displays this. In addition, if the flight was a codeshare (where an airline sold a ticket on a partner’s flight), this is shown too.
Clicking on the operator brings up details on a Show Operator view:
In some cases, I know the fleet number the operator uses for the aircraft, so the bottom of this page contains a list of the known fleet numbers.
Clicking on any fleet number will show details for all flights flown on that operator-fleet number combination.
Finally, all of the operators are now listed on the Index Airlines view, below the airline list:
…I fly on a lot of regional jets.
Flight Log 1.2 – released 27 October 2014
Added operating airlines, fleet numbers, and codeshares
On the old version of the flight log, I had a rudimentary display of routes – the Show Flight page would list all sections and trips that shared the same route. There was, however, no easy way to see which routes were the most flown. Consider that solved, with my new Routes page!
Of note, the page shows the most popular airlines, aircraft, and classes flown on the route. The trip sections and trips sharing a route have been moved here from the Show Flight pages:
The same airlines, aircraft, and class lists were added to the Show Tail, Show Airport, Show Airline, Show Aircraft, and Show Class pages as appropriate.
I also updated the home page. Instead of what was essentially a link to the Flights page, the home page now shows my primary flight maps, and my top 5 routes, airports, aircraft, airlines, and tail numbers:
In addition, under each of the top 5 lists, the home page shows the totals for the various statistics I track. No more extra clicks are required to see how many airports I’ve visited!
Speaking of airports, the Show Airport page also got a snazzy new listing of top destinations:
This table also links to the new Show Route pages.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics keeps records of airline on-time statistics for United States domestic flights. In particular, their detailed statistics for departures, arrivals, and airborne time have flight number and tail number data. Incidentally, with a date, origin or destination airport, and flight number, I could find the tail number of many of my past flights.
Only airlines with at least 1% of domestic passenger revenue are required to report on-time data. Therefore, not every feeder airline reports data, and I was unable to get tail numbers for those flights.
International flights are not in this database.
2013 data are not yet available.
The reported tail number was not always the actual tail number; in some cases, it appeared to use the airline’s fleet number instead. In particular, this seemed to happen more often than not on American Airlines and American Eagle flights.
American Airlines flights seemed to be reported in the form N[fleet number]AA, such as N493AA or N3FHAA. For American Airlines flights, then, I had to look up the aircraft in the fleet data for American Airlines on Planespotters.net, finding the fleet number in the Fleet Number column and retrieving the tail number from the Reg column. In the case of fleet number 493, the registration was N493AA, so the BTS on-time data tail number was correct. However, with 3FH, the tail number was actually N831NN.
American Eagle flights were similarly reported as N[fleet number]MQ, forcing me to do the same thing with the American Eagle fleet data. In this case, though, the fleet number often isn’t listed. When this happens, if there was a single registration number that contained the fleet number (N939AE for #939, N933JN for #933, etc.), and the aircraft family was the same as the one I already had on record, I used that.
Even with the above, the BTS website was still a great source of data, and I now have tail number data for 91% of my flights. This data helped me find out that there were quite a few more tails I’d flown on more than once, including threeadditionaltails I’d flown on three times (beyond N909EV, which I already knew about).
The flight log airport frequency map now represents the number of times I’ve visited an airport with the area of the rings around the airports instead of the radius, conforming to bubble chart best practices.