why do flights disappear from flightradar24

The Intriguing Phenomenon of Disappearing Flights

Have you ever been tracking a flight on Flightradar24, only to have it suddenly disappear from the radar? It’s a perplexing experience, leaving you wondering why and how such a massive aircraft can seemingly vanish into thin air. In this article, I will delve into the reasons behind why flights disappear from Flightradar24, exploring both technical and non-technical factors that contribute to this intriguing phenomenon.

The Burstiness of Flight Tracking

Flight tracking is an intricate process that involves the real-time transmission of aircraft data, including location, altitude, speed, and other crucial information. However, it’s essential to understand the burstiness of this data transmission, which means that updates are not continuously streamed but are sent in bursts at specific intervals. This burstiness can lead to momentary gaps in tracking, causing flights to disappear temporarily from Flightradar24.

Signal Interference and Limitations

One of the primary reasons for flights disappearing from Flightradar24 is signal interference and limitations. Aircraft rely on various technologies such as ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) to transmit their data to ground stations and satellite receivers. However, factors like terrain, weather, and distance from the receiver can lead to signal loss, causing the aircraft to vanish from the radar momentarily.

Non-Transponder Equipped Aircraft

Another factor that can contribute to the disappearance of flights from Flightradar24 is the use of non-transponder equipped aircraft. While most commercial airliners are equipped with transponders that continuously transmit their flight data, smaller private planes, military aircraft, and certain international flights may not have this technology. As a result, these aircraft may not appear on the radar, leading to their apparent disappearance.

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Technical Glitches and System Errors

Despite the advanced technology behind Flightradar24, technical glitches and system errors can still occur, leading to the temporary disappearance of flights. From server malfunctions to data processing issues, these technical hiccups can cause flights to vanish from the radar before reappearing once the problem is resolved.

Weather-Related Factors

Weather-related factors can also play a significant role in causing flights to disappear from Flightradar24. Severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rain, or intense fog can interfere with the aircraft’s signals, leading to disruptions in data transmission and ultimately causing the flight to vanish from the radar momentarily.

Air Traffic Control Restrictions

During certain phases of flight, such as takeoff and landing, air traffic control may impose restrictions on data transmission for safety and security reasons. These restrictions can result in temporary disappearances of the flight from Flightradar24, as the aircraft’s data may not be transmitted during these critical phases of the journey.


In conclusion, the disappearance of flights from Flightradar24 can be attributed to a combination of technical, environmental, and operational factors. From signal interference and burstiness of data transmission to weather-related disruptions and air traffic control restrictions, there are various reasons why flights may momentarily vanish from the radar. While it can be perplexing for users tracking flights, understanding these factors can provide valuable insights into the complexities of flight tracking technology and the aviation industry as a whole.


1. Can a flight disappear from Flightradar24 permanently?

No, flights that disappear from Flightradar24 usually do so momentarily due to technical, environmental, or operational factors. The flight typically reappears on the radar once the issue causing the disappearance is resolved.

2. Why are certain flights not visible on Flightradar24?

Flightradar24 relies on the transmission of aircraft data via technologies such as ADS-B. If an aircraft is not equipped with a transponder or operates in a region with limited coverage, it may not be visible on the radar.

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3. What should I do if a flight I’m tracking disappears from Flightradar24?

If a flight disappears from Flightradar24, it’s essential to remain patient and wait for the aircraft to reappear. In most cases, the disappearance is temporary and resolves itself once the issue causing it is addressed.

4. Can weather conditions affect a flight’s visibility on Flightradar24?

Yes, severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, and fog can interfere with the aircraft’s signals, causing disruptions in data transmission and leading to temporary disappearances from Flightradar24.

5. Is Flightradar24’s data reliable despite flights disappearing momentarily?

While temporary disappearances may occur, Flightradar24’s data is generally reliable and provides valuable insights into the real-time movement of aircraft. The platform continues to be a reputable source of flight tracking information for aviation enthusiasts and professionals alike.