April 19: Bellingcat Online Workshop on Flight Tracking (4-hour)

Register here!

This workshop focuses on the terminology, tools and methods necessary to track aircraft using open sources, taking place on April 19, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM EST (NYC) / 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM CEST (Amsterdam) and is divided into three sections:

  • Flight tracking fundamentals: You’ll learn about aircraft identifiers like hex codes and serial numbers, how to spot them, and when they might be useful in an investigation.
  • Flight tracking sites: You’ll learn about commercial and hobbyist flight tracking sites, the technologies that make them work, their main features, and how to use them.
  • Supplementary data sites: In this section, you’ll learn about websites that can have useful data about aircraft, like ownership and flight records.

This webinar is meant for researchers with a novice-to-intermediate familiarity with flight tracking, whether you’re looking to get into flight tracking and don’t know where to start, or you’re looking to brush up on some terms and pick up some new tips.

We have a new round of webinars this spring on digital investigation techniques. We use Eventzilla for registration, with a relatively light screening process preceding confirmation and payment for the workshops.

Training Topics

Our training topics are split between four segments: beginning verification, advanced verification, beginning social media, and advanced social media.

All of our workshops have the same beginning segments of an introduction of open source investigations, a segment on creative search techniques, and some discussion (more on the 16-hour and social media-focused workshops) on how to conduct (relatively) trace-free investigations in separating your personal and professional footprints.

The verification segments focus on the verification and analysis of user-generated content (e.g. photographs and videos), and the social media segments focus on how to conduct research on individuals and groups through social media and digital information sources. Our workshops mix and match these four segments at different price points and lengths.

Note that we sometimes do not have time to tackle every topic included in our agenda, as each workshop is different with questions popping up, particular topics of interests to participants, and so on. If we don’t have time to get to a topic, we will make sure you receive a copy of the slides and exercises we use for the topic at the end of the workshop.

Payment Note

If you register and select credit card or Paypal, you must pay when you start the payment process, otherwise Eventzilla will lock you out and we will have to manually delete and restart your registration. Wait to open the payment tab until you have your card or Paypal information ready to go!

Alternatively, you can choose “bank transfer” and pay later — many of our participants whose employers sponsor them choose this option. 

You can find more information about our trainings and webinars in the event descriptions on Eventzilla, including an agenda for each workshop.


The ticket price is inclusive of 21% VAT (tax); all individuals applying for this course are subject to the Dutch VAT of 21%. If your application is paid for by a company to whom different VAT rules apply, please mention your VAT number in the registration form, after which we will send you a separate invoice. Additional fees included in the ticket price are detailed on each Eventzilla page.


Please look closely at the cancellation and event policies before you take the leap. We run all of these trainings on Zoom in a private webinar room, with two or three trainers present to help with both the webinar itself and any questions the participants have. Also, please note the times — about half of our trainings are Europe-time friendly, and the other half more US/Canada-time friendly. If you are in California, you probably don’t want to sign up for an event that is at 10am Amsterdam and 1am Pacific time!

Eventzilla lists most of our events in the Amsterdam (GMT+1) time zone, which is sometimes noted as “CET” and other times as “WEST”. We don’t know why Eventzilla sometimes uses this designation of “WEST” for Central European time, but just keep in mind that it’s one hour ahead of London and six hours ahead of New York.


We manually approve all applications after registration on Eventzilla. We do basic due diligence checks on our participants to be sure that our trainers and other participants are comfortable with their participation.Members of any military or intelligence service are not permitted registration at our workshops, and we allow government employees in on a case-by-case basis to be sure there aren’t any serious ethical issues. We also restrict access to our workshops from members of police forces, but make some exceptions depending on participants’ areas of responsibilities.

For example, in past workshops, we have approved the participation of government employees working on issues around election integrity and security, while we have rejected the participation of those working for state migration services tasked with information gathering around deportations. For police officers, we have approved the applications of those working on issues of child exploitation and trafficking, but rejected those who work for departments where there have been publicized cases of surveillance and abuse. We also conduct basic due diligence for non-government employees to be sure both the participant and their employer do not have a track record that would clearly make our trainers and other participants uncomfortable with providing training in research techniques that could be abused.

That said, the vast majority of participants are approved without any issue.