FlightAware Discussions

Searching via SearchBirdseyeInFlight


I’m using SearchBirdseyeInFlight to look for low altitude flights near my home. It finds some, but doesn’t work as I expected. The documentation says that this endpoint searches “flight data representing approximately the last 24 hours”. However, it appears to only give me very recent flights, or perhaps only flights that are still in the air. Flights returned by one call are often not returned by call I make a few minutes later.

I must be missing something basic.

How do I tell it that I want all the flights for the last 24 hours, or however many it has available?

I’m guessing that the time window defaults to something that’s inappropriate for my search, and I need to change it. There is nothing in the documentation about defaults tho.


I’ve been doing more experiments, and it appears that SOME flights are retrieved over a long period of time (perhaps 24 hours) but others disappear within 1 hour.

I seek some clarity on what SearchBirdseyeInFlight does exactly.


It looks like you’re using the < alt, range lat and range lon commands in your search. Each of commands are joined by logical and. Each of these search for flights where last reported position matches the conditions in their last position update at the time of query. Since the box from the lat/lon values is relatively small it’s not unreasonable to expect an aircraft will depart the matching zone between queries, or may not even have a position update logged while in the specific area.

You may want to consider highLat/lowLat/highLon/lowLon with no altitude argument or a larger range if you want to more reliably return flights.

Also, lastPositionTime can be used to limit how far back the search looks inside its 24 hour scope.


Oh. “last reported…” So perhaps I should be using SearchBirdseyePositions instead!