FlightRadar24’s View of Eastern Ukraine Dec. 27, 2014 – Early Jan. 2015 (A Sampling of Tracked Flights)

Crestone, Colorado (USA) – Jan. 8, 2014

Plane spotting!  For entertainment purposes only.

Before I went on my hike up to 11,000 feet, I spent several hours watching airplanes over the eastern Ukraine on the Flight Radar 24 Tracker, http://www.flightradar24.com/48.81,29.29/6 and taking a couple dozen screenshots of flights during the period December 27, 2014 and January 1, 2015.  A couple additional screenshots were taken since.  I thought I just quickly post this, “for the record”, before moving on to greener pastures.

For background: On Dec. 13, 2014, the Kiev government, allegedly due to a report of surface-to-air missiles being in the Eastern Ukraine, ordered the closure of airports in Zaporozhye, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk for several days from midnight on December 13Ukraine in Crisis wrote: “This was done on the basis of a report, which was provided (by the State Aviation Administration) to the office of one of the branches of the Ministry of Defense, that there is a major threat to civilian aircraft in the territory of the ATO zone today.  Thus, the decision was taken to carry out preventive measures based on a report received that surface-to-air missile systems, including Buk, have been deployed in territory in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that are not controlled by Ukraine.”  […]  Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk airports reopened on December 16, however Zaporozhye airport is to remain closed until December 20.

Note: None of those 3 airports are anywhere close to fighting areas of Donetsk or Lugansk.  And why did Zaporizhia stay closed much longer that the other two?  Because the missiles were found to be closer to Zaporizhia?  And then what? After the 20th, they were… moved elsewhere?    Nevermind.

The situation in Eastern Ukraine is extremely serious, though… Amnesty International just called the “Situation in Ukraine ‘nearing humanitarian catastrophe’

The screenshots below are NOT a complete list of flights in and out of Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporozhye airports.  I looked mainly at Dnipropetrovsk (DNK) and Zaporozhye, and did not document the numerous flights to and from Kiev (many from DNK) and Istanbul (Turkey), or those to and from unknown locations (“?”) in the Middle East (mostly dropping off the Tracker over Egypt).   This incomplete list is merely a sampling of flights I found mildly “interesting”, including apparent military cargo traffic between Russia and non-rebel-held Kiev-controlled Eastern Ukraine (some of this may be humanitarian aid), some corporate jets coming and going, and some notable traffic between the area and Austria, Vienna.

That there was more air traffic from the Dnipropetrovsk  and Zaporozhye airports with Vienna, Austria, than with any other EU country only peeked my curiosity because the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, which continues to push for more nuclear power) has their headquarters in Vienna. So does The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO, which refuses to make its data public from its global network of radioisotope monitors); as does the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR, the apparent public perception management wing of the nuclear industry, which belittles the adverse health effects of nuclear accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima).

I’m not claiming a link between the traffic and the presence of those institutions, though.

This armchair “plane spotting on a screen” came at the very end of my series of inquiries regarding radiation monitors being turned off or showing odd spikes and bumps, rumors and even news articles of a “radioactive cloud”, as well as leaked and hacked documents that suggested that some kind of unusual radiological release took place at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP – south / downstream from the city of Zaporizhia) at the end of November and December 2014, all of which I already wrote about in my Dec. 15, 2014 overview blogpost!–>Was there a causal link between the Nov 28 2014 Accident at the Zaporizhye Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine and recent Radiation Spikes in Latvia and Romania?“.

For an example of why I stared at the screen a little longer than intended, among he first things I came across we things like this:  as already shared in the previous post, “the funny way” to fly from the Middle East to Kiev on Dec. 27, 2014, for this Ukrainian International Airliner is to dip down and turn right over the ZNPP:

Dec. 27, 2014 - http://www.flightradar24.com/48.95,35.82/6

A little odd, no?

Other blogposts of mine expanded upon my early findings in relation to the Zaporhozhye nuclear mystery, including, but not limited to these: (Dec. 29, 2014)  Zaporizhia NPP: CIA-run ‘Radio Free Europe’ Breaks Media Silence: Donetsk Separatist Official Warns Of ‘Second Chernobyl’, and before Washington’s Blog, ZeroHedge, Global Research or ENEnews wrote about these documents, I had already written (Dec. 26, 2014)  Ukrainian Hackers Claim Zaporizhia Nuclear Accident Communications, mentioning Radiation Leak, warn of “Second Chernobyl” – Не наводи панику!.    I also discovered an important translation error in  an RT (Russia Today) article, which was widely spread (including its error), which I shared about on Dec 31, 2014, and repeated Jan 4, 2015:  The Radiation Reported in “leaked documents” from Zaporozhye / Zaporizhia NPP is NOT “5 mSv/year”, but 5 µSv/hr !!! (RT mistranslation being spread widely).  That just as a bit of background.

As I mentioned yesterday, RT has apparently stepped back from investigating the authenticity of the leaked documents and have thus joined with the rest of the media (mainstream and alternative alike) to shut up about what may or may not have happened at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

I don’t know if this information will help solve the mystery some day.  Too bad the data only reaches back 1 week.  In any case, here are some of my observations for around and after Dec. 28, 2014::

A selection of annotated screenshots of airplane flights, as they appeared on the online Flight Radar 24:

– Flights from “?” usually came on the tracker above Egypt; Dec. 27, 2014 example:


– Dec. 27, 2014 – One of many “No Call Sign” military-style cargo planes between Russia and the DNK/ Zaporizhia area:

7a_NoCallplaneArrivesDNKarea_Sat12.272014__just before 13.00__

– Jan 27, 2014: an Austrian Airlines plane takes off from DNK for Vienna:

7b_AsNoCallplaneArrives_AUA676departsFromDNK_to_Viena__Sat12.272014__just before 13.00__

– A Bombardier BD100 Challenger 300 corporate jet arrived Dec 27, 2014 in or near Kharkiv from Lyon, France:


– A Hawker 800XP arrives Dec. 27, 2014 in or near DNK from Geneva, Switzerland:


– A flight from the Middle East appears on the tracker over northern Egypt, arriving at Zaporizhia Int’l Airport Dec 28, 2014 (the day a glitch with unit 5 at the ZNPP was reported; See ZeroHedge, Dec. 28’s “Ukraine’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant Suffers 2nd Emergency Shutdown In 3 Weeks“)


– Early Dec. 29, 2014, yet another flight from Vienna arrives at DNK:


– Dec. 29, 2014 – Another Antonov (in this case an An-12) takes off from the DNK – Zaporizhia area, for Russia:

Dec29_2014_14.00__militaryCargoFrom DNK:ZapoArea_toRussia

January 6, 2015, the Russian (Kremlin outlet) Sputnik announced,  “Lithuania Delivers Requested Arms to Ukraine: Ukrainian Army Spokesperson“, likely a week delayed, since:

– A Lithuanian Air Force cargo plane arrived in Kiev already on Dec. 30, 2014 (The FlightRadar24’s image on the left is incorrect. I inserted an image of an Alenia C-27 J Spartan on the right:


– The “No Call Sign” of military cargo traffic between Russia and somewhere just north of DNK continues.  It is uncertain where exactly it lands and takes off from, as it drops off the tracker on the Russian end, as well as north of DNK:


– Dec. 30, 2014 – An arrival from Vienna @ DNK:


– Dec. 30, 2014 – Where a plane lands is not always clear (Kiev to DNK/Zaporizhia area ?):

Dec30_12.45pm_Kiev_to_Zapo?_(DNK busy around that time)

– Dec. 30, 2014 – two hours after arrival, plane returns to Vienna:


– Dec. 31, 2014 – With almost no air traffic in the Eastern Ukraine, these “No Call Sign” military cargo planes between this region (DNK or around there somewhere) and Russia could serve as inspiration for a mystery / detective novel:

Dec31_2014__7.45_anotherNoCallSIgn_from NorthOfDNK__

– Dec. 31, 2014 – A Cessna Citation Mustang leaves (from near Zaporhizia?) to go spend New Year’s Eve in Kiev, or beyond:


– Dec 31, 2014 – A Yak-40 cargo plane flies to Kiev:


– Dec. 31, 2014 – A private Raytheon 390 Premier takes of from near DNK for Kiev:


– Dec. 31, 2014 –  The Yak-40 cargo plane returns home to Zaporizhia some 10 hours later:


– Evening Dec. 31, 2014 – A Raytheon 390 Premier fancy business jet  arrives in the region somewhere (DNK? or Zaporizhia?):


– Jan. 1, 2015Happy New Year‘s wishes arrive from Vienna…:


– Jan. 2, 2015 – Vienna to DNK


– Jan. 3, 2015 – Belgrade, Servia to DNK (?)


– Jan. 3, 2015:  From Slovakia to …:


– Jan. 3, 2015 – From Zaporizhia to the Middle East, disappearing off the tracker over Egypt:


– Jan. 5, 2015 – Yay, the Austrians are back:

Jan5_2015_8.00__Vienna_to_DNK__Kievflight arrivedaroundsametime

– Jan 5, 2015 – To leave again after an hour:

Jan5_2015_9.15__DNK_to_Vienna__Kievflight arrivedaroundsametime

– And then there’s this (Jan. 6, 2015) great detour “around Zaporizhia / ZNPP”, to go from Istanbul to Kharkiv (probably to avoid all the other planes in the area…), a signature mark of Pegasus airlines from Turkey:


As you can see:   Nothing unusual going on there… 

— Just before posting this, I quickly had another look at the traffic between Jan 6, 2014 0o:00 and mid-Jan. 7, 2015:

  • Jan. 6, 2015 @ around 5:00 :  Kharkiv –> Kiev  (PS24 / AUI24H Ukraine International Airlines)
  • Jan. 6 @ around 5:00 :   Dnipropetrovsk (DNK)  –> Kiev  (PS72 / AUI72N
    Ukraine International Airlines)
  • Jan. 6 @ just after 7:00:  An Antonov An-140 “No Call Sign” appears near DNK, heads over Kharkiv and headed into Russia, to drop off the tracker south-east of Kursk
  • Jan. 6 @ almost 9:00: Kiev –> DNK  (Z61 / UDN1 – Dniproavia)
  • Jan. 6 @ almost 10:00:  DNK –> Kiev  (Z64 / UDN4  – Dniproavia)
  • Jan. 6 @ 10:30:  “?” (appeared on tracker over Egypt) –> Kharkiv   (PS7012 / AUI7012  — Ukraine International Airlines)
  • Jan.. 6 also around  10:30:  a Raytheon 390 Premier jet,  Kiev –> Kharkiv  (BTT9801
    Business Jet Travel Airline)
  • Jan. 6 @ 11:45: “Power meeting”:  3 planes arrive in the DNK area:  a giant military cargo plane (drops off the tracker before you can see if it went to DNK or Zaporizhia), a fancy business jet (to DNK), and an airliner from Vienna (to DNK):Jan6_11.45_3planes_to_DNKarea
  • Jan. 6  – shortly after, 2 planes come in: an Antonov An-140 (“No Call Sign”) comes from the north, from Russia and drops off the tracker north of DNK;  Another comes from Istanbul to DNK (TK435 / THY1VM – Turkish Airlines)
  • Jan. 6 @ around 13:00 As a plane heads from Kharkiv to “?”, one from DNK leaves for Vienna
  • @ 13:20 ish the Ukraine Government can be seen making a little joy flight, from Kiev … to Kiev:   Jan6_2015_13-20_govJoyRide_Kiev_to_Kiev
  • @ 14:00, a flight DNK –> Istanbul  (TK436 / THY1YE  – Turkish Airlines)
  • @ 15:30  Kiev –> DNK
  • @ 18:00  The Raytheon 390 Premier,  returns: Kharkiv –> Kiev
  • Jan. 7, 2015 @ 00:30 A Pegasus Airlines arrived at Kharkiv from Istanbul, making its signature giant detour again; and heads back 2 hours later;
  • Jan 7 @ 8:00 And DNK–> IFO flight (Z6201 / UDN201  – Dniproavia)
  • Jan 7, @ 8:15  A “No Call Sign” Antonov An-140 with Registration 508095 – UR-14005 heads from the area north of DNK to Russia again;
  • @ 10:45ish The Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 flies back from DNK to Kiev
  • @ 11:30 – An hour later, another plane from Vienna arrived: Vienna –> DNK  (OS675 / AUA675 – Austrian Airlines); couple hours later one flies from DNK–> Vienna
  • Etc. etc.

In a nutshell:  DNK services flights to and from (almost entirely) Kiev, Istanbul and Vienna.  Some fancy business jets come and go.  And every now and then there’s military cargo / No Call Sign traffic between the area and Russia.   Even though theoretically the airport reopened, Zaporizhia sees almost no traffic at all.   The data of the online radar tracker is, of course, not complete, nor completely reliable.

(Entertaining until you see the same flight patterns over and over.)

For what it’s worth…


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7 Responses to FlightRadar24’s View of Eastern Ukraine Dec. 27, 2014 – Early Jan. 2015 (A Sampling of Tracked Flights)

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