Flight Services Adds SpiderTracks Monitoring

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Pilots and operators who use SpiderTracks satellite monitoring devices in their aircraft can now register their device with the AFSS system to enable real-time tracking of their flights. In a news release Lockheed Martin, which operated the AFSS system, said by registering their SpiderTracks device, pilots can ensure that their flight progress is monitored from takeoff to landing and if the device stops moving, stops transmitting or sends an emergency signal, the system is instantly alerted. "As a result, the system is able to initiate search and rescue procedures with more precision and speed than previously possible," said Lockheed Martin. The service is free. The SpiderTracks system currently plots aircraft progress on a website that requires a login. The SpiderTracks partnership seems to be the test bed for a system-wide real-time monitoring system.

Lockheed Martin says the plan is to add other monitoring devices to the system and to ADS-B equipped aircraft in the near future. "Lockheed Martin is committed to improving safety, efficiency, and convenience for the general aviation community," said Jim Derr, director of Lockheed Martin Flight Services. "Look for more features later this year including our Next Generation Briefing capability that includes automatic summarization of text-intensive information and enhanced graphics that help pilots understand their briefings faster."