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Good Luck Tracking an Airplane Today, SPAR19 Craze Messed Everything Up

At the time of writing, interesting events are taking place (or are about to) over in Asia. A plane carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to land in Taiwan, causing rage over in China, an Internet craze over plane tracking apps, and fears of World War III.
Nancy Pelosi's SPAR19 flight to Taiwan crashes Flightradar24 6 photos
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Over the past few hours, a huge number of people have taken to Flightradar24 in a bid to track the plane supposedly carrying Pelosi, for whatever reasons. The number quickly jumped well above the platform’s capability of supporting, as at one point no less than 300,000 people were watching the American official as she headed east over Indonesia. The flight is called SPAR19 in airplane speak, and it’s trending (still, so many hours in) all over social media.

Right now, trying to track a plane, any plane, not only Pelosi's (which is a Boeing C-40C), is all but impossible. The smartphone app hits you with a wait time notice, one that in my case reads 73 minutes (that’s how long I have to wait to get in there and see details of flights I’m interested in) while the web-based one simply crashes. 

Flightradar itself acknowledged the problem, and stated the following a few minutes ago:

“Because of unprecedented sustained tracking interest in SPAR19, Flightradar24 services are under extremely heavy load. Some users may currently experience issues accessing the site, our teams are working on restoring full functionality to all users as quickly as possible.”

There is no estimate as to how long the functionality issues are expected to last, so brace yourself for a complicated day ahead.

So, if you were planning to get an update on the whereabouts of your loved ones, you’ll have to wait a while or give up on these plans altogether. By the time some of you read this, the entire mess would have probably sorted itself out, one way or another.

Editor's note: Gallery shows various Boeing planes.


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