MATA’s Spot Locators allow us to track our planes via satellite. Every ten minutes, the locator sends a signal with time and position, overlaying the data onto Google Maps. The locator gives the pilot the ability to send pre-determined text messages via satellite, such as Check in/OK, weather or mechanical delay, non-life threatening situation (but come get me), or any other message we need for a particular mission profile. The locators can also be used to send an international emergency distress signal, in which case the nearest search and rescue team will be contacted and dispatched. With this added technology, staff, families, and supporters can track the aircraft in near real-time from most web browsers.
We have our MATA training plane’s locator’s set to show only the last 24 hour period, to keep from cluttering the map around training areas.
Our second link is for cross country flights, which will stay up for around seven days.
If a “no message to display” banner comes up, it means we have not flown in the preset recall period.