Weather Modification Inc - Are Their Flights Tracked?

ralph Leo



Senior Member
Question though, does flight aware or any other site track private flights like these? I suppose they would have to file with the FAA their flight plans and would this be searchable online?

Answer: Likely "No".

FlightAware uses a database of those flights with an IFR Flight Plan in the ATC system. Cloud-seeding usually is done VFR...although in some cases, they MIGHT be IFR....hmmm.

ralph Leo

IFR Flight Plan in the ATC system
had to look that up - instrument Flight Rules. A set of rules governing the conduct of flight under instrument meteorological conditions.
VFR- Visual Flight Rules. Rules that govern the procedures for conducting flight under visual conditions. The term "VFR" is also used in the United States to indicate weather conditions that are equal to or greater than minimum VFR requirements. In addition, it is used by pilots and controllers to indicate a type of flight plan.
IFR requires more paperwork than VFR?

Mick West

Staff member
I feel pretty sure I've seen some tracks of cloud seeding planes. So I'm going to go with "sometimes"


Senior Member
IFR requires more paperwork than VFR?

Smile. In a sense, "yes"...and also "no".

Let's just say that....if you were just learning to fly, as a Student Pilot, you might begin to think there is already "too much" paperwork! But, even if it seems overwhelming, at first, when becomes easier with practice and experience.

Flying IFR is a bit more regimented, and there is also some "paperwork" involved...just, compared to VFR, it is more restricted.

But, as ably pointed out by Mick West, for "cloud-seeding" activities that almost always involve flying IN the clouds, then of course, it is by its nature, IFR flying. And involves ATC participation, hand-in-hand, as with all IFR flying.

Mick West

Staff member
Interesting looking at the flight history - they don't fly (IFR) very much. This is a function of it not raining very much in California. We've had an exceptionally dry winter here. The cloud seeding does not make it rain, or snow, it just (supposedly) increase the amount of rain or snow. So the last flight for N37360 was March 3rd and before that Feb 28. Which were also the last times we had significant rainfall in California.
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