Do you use flight following when flying VFR?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Salty, Feb 19, 2020.

?

Which fits best?

Poll closed Mar 19, 2020.
  1. Every flight

    10.6%
  2. Any flight outside the pattern

    27.2%
  3. Only when going somewhere new or challenging (terrain, airspace, etc)

    17.9%
  4. Only on long flights

    31.1%
  5. Never

    13.2%
  1. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  2. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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  3. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Pretty much all the time unless it’s a short flight. Especially, in the practice area, it gets really busy so I’ll get FF.
     
  4. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Nope but generally flying planes with no electrical or no transponder. Having said that if I had a plane that was equipped and was going somewhere I probably would use it. Why not?

    Sometimes don't even use a radio. :eek:
     
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  5. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route

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    I typically get FF, except on the short breakfast hop.
     
  6. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Only on cross country flights.
     
  7. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    Anything XC or transitioning over or below Class C, I'll use FF. Short hops, maybe not.
     
  8. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yes, every time.
     
  9. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I'm now part of big brother, I'm running feeder sites for flight aware for both 1090 and UAT, and I noticed that almost all traffic including UAT traffic has a transponder code. It surprised me. I almost never use FF unless going on a long trip. That's what prompted the poll.
     
  10. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    sometimes. decision is made based on the situation. also filing IFR a lot now so FF has taken a back seat. short flights, especially with passengers, no FF. flying around just for the heck of it, no FF. getting thru airspace, FF. trafficky area, FF. just wanna be left alone, no FF. hard to answer the question. I get it when I want it and don't when I don't.
     
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  11. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I think “only when going somewhere new or challenging” fits that best.
     
  12. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    rarely
     
  13. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    Almost always when going somewhere. Almost never doing local sightseeing/practice maneuver type stuff.
     
  14. Arrow76R

    Arrow76R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Always on cross country trips. Local ATC for close flights.
     
  15. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    You get flight following in the practice area?
     
  16. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    I always get it for cross-country trips. Because I'm too lazy to file VFR flight plans. And I always forget to close them. Well actually, I take that back. I'm in Miami and heading north (I'm just talking the Tri-County South Florida area here) you can go east along the coast or west over the Everglades. If I go west to avoid the Bravo, to be honest, I usually don't talk to anyone. Going east along the coast it's a lot of fun to talk to everybody.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  17. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    New York Approach I'm going to be doing a few touch and goes in the pattern at this little uncontrolled grass strip. I'd like flight following please.
     
  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    It's not as ridiculous as it sounds, if that little strip is under or near a C or B they'll appreciate knowing what the target they see on their radar near big, fast, busy traffic is doing and won't suddenly dart off through an approach or departure path and mess up their flow.. if they don't care to hear from you they'll just tell you accordingly

    Plus, even if you have 121.5 on speed dial, if the brown stuff hits the fan you'll be that much faster when it comes to the Communicate part of the emergency.. vs finding someone on 121.5, telling them where you are, etc

    Yes, ADSB mandate is out, but at least around SoCal the tracon guys don't actually see or use the data (according to the tour I was on not that long ago). ATC infrastructure is cold war era.
     
  19. Kevin Eggert

    Kevin Eggert Filing Flight Plan

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    I have never used flight following except during PPL training. A few years later, I am going on to my IFR and looking back, I believe it would have been good practice. I don't feel that I was an less safe flying cross country without it, but it is a valuable tool for those that want the extra level of security.
     
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  20. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    Perhaps but if I'm doing touch-and-goes out of Homestead X51, I don't think Miami approach wants to hear from me.
     
  21. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Nope. For the most part I see what they see. Don't see the value. Of course, the vast majority of my flights are over populated terrain. I would probably feel differently were I flying somewhere more remote.
     
  22. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Always. Good to know someone is right there when an emergency happens. I’ve had one engine failure and 2 precautionary landings in singles now in 2500 hours of flying. My chance off airport of survival goes up if they are already on the way / looking as I descend...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  23. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    I only use FF any and every time I leave the pattern.

    ...allows me to be more heads down to focus more on my iPad and not worry about what is happening outside the plane. Its a lot more relaxing that way.
     
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  24. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yes
     
  25. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    No FF = one iPad only :-(
    FF = two or more!! More magenta lines = more fun!!
    Also allows you focus on the important things like running your multiple cameras.
     
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  26. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Frequently, not always. My home drome is beneath the Orlando Bravo and there are multiple class D and E airports nearby, so sometimes there's quite a bit of traffic and I appreciate an extra set of eyes. That's particularly true when there's a low ceiling, or when I'm over a scattered layer or maneuvering around clouds.
     
  27. Stephen Shore

    Stephen Shore Pre-takeoff checklist

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    One thing some pilots don't realize is that you do NOT have to be going somewhere to get FF. If you are just going to make a run to the lake for a sightseeing trip or just want to go eat breakfast somewhere but don't want to be burdened with having to fly a "route", you can STILL ask ATC for FF and they will be glad to help. Just call them up and say "I am making a sightseeing trip to the lake and then on to KXXX for breakfast and would like FF". At least in my part of the woods they are always happy to oblige me.

    And they really don't mind for practicing - just tell them the area you want to fly to and that you will be practicing slow flight, turns, etc. and they will work with you and watch out for you.

    I do it all the time. This is for NE Texas and the East Texas Regional Airport controllers.
     
  28. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Pattern Altitude

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    I am at a class D sandwiched between three airbases with fast movers so I am always talking to someone. So yes always FF.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
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  29. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    I normally don't if I stick around the home drome because we don't have radar coverage until about 5000 feet. If I'm going somewhere I normally file IFR but if it's a short trip and they can see me on radar, I'd definitely use FF.
     
  30. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I use flight following pretty much all the time. I fly out of a busy class D, that's under B shelf near other busy airports, can make it exciting sometimes. It's great to have another set of eyes, but you still have to watch out for yourself.

    It's really nice to be in contact with ATC when things aren't quite as expected. I was flying from Maine to home, took off, got FF, then the ceilings turned out to be lowering, I had planned one altitude and was forced lower in an area I wasn't prepared to fly lower in. So I called ATC, told them the ceiling was lower than I expected and I'd like a pop up ifr clearance, he asked me if I could get to the MVA altitude VFR, I could, so he gave me my clearance and I flew home in the clouds.
     
  31. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Yeah, I never understood where the notion that FF is only for long cross country flights from A to B came form or you are somehow stuck to a rigid flight plan. You can still do anything you want VFR absent restrictions. ATC just wants to know what to expect from you if it is not direct to destination.

    Call once made to ATC: "NorCal, Skylane 345, gonna zip around the bay for some whale watching"..."Roger, thanks"

    During training maneuvers is one of the BEST times to get FF IMO since you are distracted by so many other things as you spin around.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
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  32. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I was based at IAD I pretty much had to use it all the time. I got into the habit that if I'm going far enough to take the time to get radar identified, I use it.
     
  33. JoeSelch

    JoeSelch Pattern Altitude

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    Generally only when operations in Class C or B airspace (or the occasional TRSA) are imminent.
     
  34. masloki

    masloki Line Up and Wait

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    Still getting used to the kinder and gentler Chicago approach. Near KENW it is a mix of Chicago, Rockford and Milwaukee approach that just makes flight following a no for practice/training. Heading somewhere, sure.
     
  35. Justin M

    Justin M Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It varies, with PAX, maybe not. Alone most likely. Longer flight? Yeah. If I'm going to be landing a lot of different uncontrolled airports, then I don't get FF. However, a couple weekends ago, I was crossing 3 states alone, but flew without FF because I knew I'd be bouncing around altitudes. Monday, with flight following even though my family was riding along.
     
  36. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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    Never... I hate talking and listening.
    For me that takes the fun and freedom out of flying.
    I will never get my instrument rating. That flying isn't for me.
     
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  37. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    Every cross country flight I get it. Keeps me in the game and never hurts to have someone else looking out for me.
     
  38. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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  39. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    The requests I've made in the practice area is "traffic advisories" between x and y thousand feet. They are happy to help.
     
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  40. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    I fly out of a Class C airport so always.