Planes in Flight Hobby

Plane in flight in Google EarthOne of the luxuries of writing your own blog is that you can occasionally get away with repeating yourself. Those of you who regularly read GEB know I occasionally write about my favorite Google Earth hobby: searching the satellite and aerial photos of Google Earth to find planes captured in flight. Besides the fact that I am a pilot myself and have a passion for flying, I just think it is really amazing how many planes there are in the air around the world at any one instant (the instant a photo was taken by satellite or aircraft) as portrayed in Google Earth. Download this network link for the continuously updated collection of placemarks of all known planes in flight right now in Google Earth.
Ever since Google Earth came out (actually, even when the product was called Keyhole), people have been finding these unique sights of planes captured in flight. Dedicated members of the Google Earth Community – ‘AZTraveller’, ‘Cyclonic’, ‘Normb’, and ‘FrankMcVey’ – have maintained a KML collection documenting the locations of all current planes in flight. Over time, as Google replaces imagery with its database updates, the planes previously found disappear. These guys remove placemarks which no longer show planes, and add new locations as people post about them at the Transportation forum – usually in the All Aircraft in Flight thread. If you happen to find a plane in flight, you should download this network link to see if the plane is already found. If not, you should post it to the Transportation forum so it can be added to the database (use the “Share/Post” menu choice in GE).
By the way, the plane in the photo above can be found here (NOTE: turn on “Historical Imagery” and click on the loaded file to find the proper image). This particular plane is a small plane which happened to fly directly beneath the plane taking the aerial photography. A truly unique closeup plane in flight, and one of my favorites (even though I didn’t find it). A big thanks to Cyclonic and FrankMcVey for their dedication in keeping up the database!
Related – interesting planes in flight found:

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. 1.)40°55’53.24″N 74° 6’48.46″W – An Amazing shot of a Delta Airline md-80
    2.) 51°34’52.27″N 0° 4’35.58″W – Air Canada in flight
    3.) 41°11’33.01″N 28°25’30.23″E – Would you believe it? A330 with contrails?
    4.) 41°51’7.72″N 121°28’44.23″W – C-5 refueled by a KC-135R.
    or see for more planes to see
    and or go to google earth.
    Have fun!
    Sincerely yours, Thanks for reading

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