FlightAware Discussions

InFlightInfo with tail number



I have been trying to call the FlightXML function InFlightInfo with an ident set to a tail number and it doesn’t seem to work properly.

For example, for aircraft N146SY, I do the following request : http://flightxml.flightaware.com/json/FlightXML2/InFlightInfo?ident=“N146SY” and get as a result :

{u’InFlightInfoResult’: {u’altitude’: 0,
u’altitudeChange’: u’’,
u’altitudeStatus’: u’’,
u’arrivalTime’: 0,
u’departureTime’: 0,
u’destination’: u’’,
u’faFlightID’: u’’,
u’firstPositionTime’: 0,
u’groundspeed’: 0,
u’heading’: 0,
u’highLatitude’: 0,
u’highLongitude’: 0,
u’ident’: u’N146SY’,
u’latitude’: 0,
u’longitude’: 0,
u’lowLatitude’: 0,
u’lowLongitude’: 0,
u’origin’: u’’,
u’prefix’: u’’,
u’suffix’: u’’,
u’timeout’: u’’,
u’timestamp’: 0,
u’type’: u’’,
u’updateType’: u’’,
u’waypoints’: u’’}}

I searched the FlightAware website and the aircraft is airborne and can be found on this URL : https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N146SY

In the API, it is written : InFlightInfo looks up a specific tail number (e.g., N12345) or ICAO airline and flight number (e.g., SWA2558) and returns current position/direction/speed information.

So I should be able to ask for a specific tail number.

Can anybody help me and tell me what am I doing wrong?


Ensure that you are not actually including the quote characters around the ident argument when you make the call.

Also, that function only works using the primary identifier that the flight is actually operating under. For airline flights (as that Skywest aircraft appears to be), it will generally be operating under the airline flight number (SKW5352) rather than its registration.


Thanks for the reply.
I tried with and without quotes and it didn’t change anything. If I do the request with SKW5352, it works fine even if I use quotes.

Then the API documentation is quite misleading. InFlightInfo looks up a specific tail number (e.g., N12345) or ICAO airline and flight number (e.g., SWA2558) It should be noted that only one of them will work.

I am mainly interested in some specific general aviation aircraft.
Am I to assume that every aircraft in general aviation can be identified using tail number?


It accepts and works with tail numbers if that is the primary identifier that is being used by the flight. Note that general aviation flights don’t always operate under their tail number either.

(I acknowledge that it would be a nice feature improvement if InFlightInfo is able to find flights by registration even if it is not the primary identifier, but that is not how this function currently works.)


As an alternate method, can you try using the “Search” command with a query of “-identOrReg N146SY” instead? That function should return the same result structure, but allows more search methods.