Pelosi's Taiwan flight most-tracked plane in radar app's history

Pelosi's Taiwan flight most-tracked plane in radar app's history
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes a selfie with Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu following her arrival in Taipei, Taiwan, on Tuesday. Her flight to the island became the most-tracked in the 16-year history of the flight-tracking app Flightradar24. Photo courtesy of Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 3 (UPI) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's flight to Taiwan on Tuesday was the most-tracked plane in the history of tracking service Flightradar24.

By the time it landed in Taipei, the U.S. Air Force Boeing C-40 Clipper carrying Pelosi and a congressional delegation was being tracked by more than 708,000 people around the world.


A total of 2.92 million people followed at least a portion of the flight on its seven-hour journey from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei.

Flight SPAR19 was already the most tracked flight on the radar app among active flights as soon as it took off.

RELATED House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defends Taiwan visit after objections from China

At one point, the flight tracker was unable to keep up with all the extra traffic, causing outages and delays.

Flightradar24 launched in 2006. The Swedish company gives aviation enthusiasts the ability to track flights in real time across the globe.

Pelosi, 82, became the highest-ranking U.S. official to make an official visit to Taiwan since former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997.

China responded visibly by sending 21 warplanes, including more than a dozen fighter aircraft, through Taiwan's air defense zone the day of Pelosi's visit.

RELATED Taiwan raising combat readiness for Chinese provocations over Pelosi visit, reports say

Pelosi left Taiwan on Wednesday evening as a furious China slapped economic sanctions on the democratic island in addition to conducting the combat exercises nearby.

Pelosi met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen hours earlier and vowed that America's determination to protect democracy in Taiwan "remains ironclad."

She originally planned the visit in April, but had to postpone it after contracting COVID-19.

Pelosi touched down in Taiwan in 1999, but she was not in leadership at the time.

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