flightaware mobile

:confused: after going thru the hassle of setting up my cell phone to be able to
Receive METAR and TAF reports for US airports via e-mail. Use your 2-way (Blackberry, Sidekick, Treo, etc.) or email-capable cell phone to receive on-demand reports while at the FBO, in the car, or anywhere convenient before departure.” - all I have actually received after numerous attempts is a generic garbage statement about contacting Flight Service. This is not helpful!!!

  • Remember put the airport ID in the SUBJECT area of the text, and leave the BODY blank. EX:

TO: flightaware…
SUB: KCVG or cvg
BODY OF MESSAGE: ← leave this blank.

Works fine for me. My cell service with with Verizon, which is pretty limited on my particular phone. I am not able to enter anything into the subject line, but sending the airport ID as the message also works, at least for my service. Different companies may format your message differently.

Remember to use the full ID of the airport, usually starting with a “K” or “P”, and use ALL CAPS.

Only problem I have had is the limitation of my phone. It’s limited to 160 characters in the response, so I get the METAR, but TAFs are truncated. FA has it on the wish-list to find a way to span the response over multiple messages. Given all of the fantastic things that they are working on, I would not expect this to be the top priority.

whether I put it on the subject line, or body of message, I only get jiberish.

  • Not to call you out, but you do know what a METAR report is right? If someone did not know how to decode them, they would look like jiberus.

that’s jiberish, and yes, with an ATP, and 14,500 hours of flight time, I’m passingly familiar with METARs TAFs SAs FTs. What I’m not familiar with is the crap that comes back when requesting the weather…

My suggestion would be to post the gibberish… Forward the message to your “regular” email then copy-n-paste here.

  • Is it a message that says some crap about contacting hiwas on 22.0?

Wow we all spelled “jiberush” diffrent. Anyways, ok I tryed mine casue I had not used it in a while, but I knew it worked. I was getting the same crap, so I sent my request, with KBOI in the subject and KBOI in the body, finally got it to work. I used all caps. Oh and I did not mean that you did not know anything about METARS, it was a logical question that might have helped. I still dont know how to decode everything… :confused:


What airport are you getting a garbage reply for?

Mark Duell

so far I’ve tried Kbaf, Kbdl, and Kmia. I’ll try all caps, in both subj line and body and see what happens. Last one came back with unrecognizable code, and not even reference to 122.0 etc. So far I find “my-cast” and “any awos” services to be far superior, and much more user friendly.

Here’s an idea - why don’t you post the response?

I just sent a message to wx@flightaware.com with a subject of “kmia” (no quotes) and nothing in the body. Reply reads:

2005/12/29 18:53
KMIA 291853Z 24016G21KT 10SM SCT035 BKN050 BKN090 25/16 A2984 RMK AO2 SLP106 T0

2005/12/29 17:22
KMIA 291722Z 291818 24015G25KT P6SM SCT035 SCT050
FM1900 25015G25KT P6SM VCSH SCT025 BKN040 BKN080
FM2300 27010KT P6SM SCT040 SCT080
FM0200 28003KT P6SM SCT100
FM1400 34004KT P6SM FEW035

++ Visit flightaware.com for free, live IFR flight tracking and analysis
++ ++

Weather report brought to you by FlightAware (flightaware.com) Check weather from an official source for flight planning.
Contact your local FSS (1-800-WX-BRIEF) and/or Flight Watch (122.0) Not valid for operational purposes.

Can you post one of the garbage replies you’ve received?

This is the response to KBDL in the subj and body…


                               Not Found

TAF =?UTF-8?B?S0JETA==?=:

                               Not Found

++ Visit flightaware.com for free, live IFR flight tracking and analysis ++

Weather report brought to you by FlightAware (flightaware.com)
Check weather from an official source for flight planning.
Contact your local FSS (1-800-WX-BRIEF) and/or Flight Watch (122.0)
Not valid for operational purposes.

Now ain’t that some helpful info… :laughing:

Please don’t get me wrong - I think the flight tracking portion of this website is excellent, it’s beyond anything else I’ve seen. But the wx for mobile devices is worthless. If anyone else (and there has to be someone) is experiencing the same problems I am, that alone would turn them off from using the site for anything.

The request email you send needs to use ASCII encoding instead of Unicode (UTF) 8. All ICAO airport identifiers use the Latin character set, so there’s no need for the complexity of interpreting Unicode.

Hi, andybray.

Our e>metar service actually predates FlightAware (long story), so that explains why the service is inconsistent with FlightAware. However, it processes an incredible number of requests per minute and I’ve never heard of anyone having the problem that you describe.

If you’re unable to fix the problem based on mduell’s explanation, can you please send an e>metar request to one of the support addresses so that we can take a look at the format that you’re sending?

It seems to me that if e>metars work great for everyone except for one user, then the problem must be with that one user’s configuration. And if that is the case, the cure can certainly be found if one is willing to work at it without getting frustrated.

It’s not really fair to say that wx for mobiles is worthless when there seems to be only one mobile that is doesn’t work on. If one knows of other services that are “far superior” why would one even waste the time mucking around with this?

I mentioned the other day to use ALL CAPS because I had a problem in the past that I thought was CASE sensitive, but apparently that was not the case (couldn’t resist the pun :smiley: ). It works fine for me now even when using UPPER case, lower case or Proper case.

I have a different problem than the one andybray has.

I get no reply whatsoever. I just got a Nokia 6133 from T-mobile. It requires the user to change the message type to “picture message” when sending to an email address. I’ve tried with only the subject being the airport and with the subject and text input being the airport.

When I send myself a “picture message” with only text input, it arrives with little spacers and logos as attachments. Any ideas?

So 3 years (and multiple phones) later, I still pretty much have the same problem as my last post…

Now I’m using a Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220, but still on T-mobile, still sending to wx@flightaware.com as an MMS message. I just tried a bunch of different combinations, here are my results:

My Msg:_____Reply:
Ktex koak_____Subject- KTEX KOAK/Msg-blank

Ktex__________From: Weather User/Subject & Msg-blank

Ktex, koak______Subject: KTEX, KOAK/Msg-blank

KCLT KOAK______Subject: KCLT KOAK/Msg-(A full report containing METARs/TAFs for both airports + fine print)

At this point I figured I had to do all caps and leave out the comma (I verified the need to omit the comma by using my gmail and getting an error message on the airport with a comma after it, but it still came through being all lowercase).

KOAK KTEX______Subject: KOAK KTEX/Msg-blank

KCLT___________Subject- KCLT/Msg- (it worked)

Is there a pattern that I’m not seeing?

(Edited to add the KCLT query, and note that maybe it’s because I kept including KTEX and the response I got to my email has the following:


                              Not Found


Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat) Server at weather.noaa.gov Port 80

Maybe this error msg somehow prevents me from receiving any of the response… so I have to only query with stations that have TAF’s?