This article is from the Aviation FAQ, by Geoffrey G. Peck firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
If you can dial a U.S. (800) number, or you have access to the Internet,
you can access DUATS, the FAA's Direct User Access Terminal System,
at no charge. DUATS service is provided by two commercial vendors:
voice info data line
DTC (Data Transformation Corp.) 1-800-243-3828 1-800-245-3828
GTE Federal Sys Division (Contel) 1-800-345-3828 1-800-767-9989
GTE (Contel) DUATS may be accessed via the Internet; simply telnet to
duat.gtefsd.com. If your machine seems to be brain-dead in the name
server department, try 18.104.22.168. Non-pilots must use the machine
duats.gtefsd.com (note the "s" in duats), address 22.214.171.124. You
can use e-mail to contact GTE for help at email@example.com .
A shell script which allows an entire briefing to be obtained using
a single command to the shell is available by request from
GTE's 800-number dial-in lines now support v32bis (14400). GTE DUATS
may also be accessed via SPRINTNET; call the voice info line for a
local access number. For DTC, 243-3828 is "AID-DUAT" and 245-3828 is
If you're a U.S.-licensed pilot (student pilots and glider pilots
without medicals included), it is to your advantage to obtain a DUATS
user I.D. and to use that I.D. whenever you obtain a briefing. Users
who sign on without giving an I.D. cannot file flight plans, and the
briefing will not be recorded for the purposes of counting as a "legal"
If you haven't used DUATS before, you can simply call the data number and
register on-line. When registering, student pilots should use their
student pilot certificate number which is also the medical certificate
number; it begins with "BB" or "DD", and you need to type in the "BB" or
"DD" as well as the digits. If your medical is less than about three
months old, or you are a glider or other pilot who doesn't have a medical
certificate, you may need to call the voice info numbers to get them to
add you to the database. You must register with each provider
independently; they provide similar levels of service.
Several commercial weather vendors also exist, and each of them provides
additional services which may not be available on DUATS.
Jeppesen-Sanderson has two different services, Jeppesen DataPlan at 1-800-
358-6468 [voice] is designed for "big guys"; Jepp/Link at 1-800-553-7750
[voice] is an enhanced version of DUATS for "the rest of us". CompuServe
Information Services (buy a starter pack from a local computer store,
type "GO AWX") has local data access numbers throughout the country.
WeatherBank, Inc. of Salt Lake City, UT, also has more specialized
information such as ROAB soundings and farm forecasts, as well as a
longer online "history" (up to one year) than other vendors.
There is a wealth of additional weather information available on the
Internet. Please see Ilana Stern's Sources of Meteorological Data FAQ
which is posted to sci.geo.meteorology, news.answers, and sci.answers