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Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by samiamPA, Nov 10, 2020.
I rarely used to get FF. Now I always get FF. Flying in the Los Angeles basin, there is so much traffic that it really is the safest way to fly around in this part of the country. And it helps so much to get the call outs for traffic. Even though I can't see half of them. But at least I am on alert looking.
Count me in for the FF. I operate under Class B all the time and do a lot of 500nm+ cross countries. It's always amazing how I can be over the middle of nowhere USA and intersect another aircraft within 500ft! Yes, I always have them printing on ADSB, but having another pair of eyes watching you never hurts. Never have to worry about getting an altimeter setting, no digging for frequencies, just keep taking the handoffs and they will get you where you need to be. Weather information and avoidance of rain cells is a plus and then there is the bonus, on occasion, of getting the VIP trip through the bravo over the top of downtown at night on your arrival. The last point alone is worth it alone. Of course, I also use it to keep proficient on my radio skills for my IFR rating when it's not worth the bother of filing IFR on a nice VFR day.
1) Do not become dependent on it to the point of forgetting “see & avoid”.
2) FF is not always available. It’s on an ATC workload basis.
Yup, calling traffic for you is one of their lower priorities. And occasionally one gets by them.
Yeah, discourage people from doing the safe thing because they sometimes miss a traffic call (which they do IFR as well) and might rarely give you an unable that may well be remedied by switching frequencies.
I'll be one of the dissenters, I never use FF... but I fly an open cockpit plane with no transponder, I rarely fly over 2000' AGL, and I go into tower fields less than once a year. Not that I won't, I learned to fly at a busy towered field, they're just not the kind of places I enjoy going into in an open cockpit biplane.
WTF are you talking about?
Never understood the controversy on POA with FF. If you want to use it, use it. If you want to fly without chatter on the radio, don’t use it. Those that don’t use it aren’t exercising high risk behavior. Not using FF isn’t a significant increase in risk to matter, especially if using ADS-B in. And no, it’s not easier on the controller if you call for FF.
This surprises me. I think a lot of ATC promo about FF says it helps controllers.
I feel self-conscious flying in busy airspace without FF, especially when I'm listening to approach and hear them call out my aircraft. Double if the issue a vector to avoid me.
I often fly 10 minutes to a point where I can't use FF, where I need to be on the CTAF; so for those flights I don't get FF, but I monitor.
Controllers will encourage pilots to call for FF because 1) it adds to their traffic count. Though VFRs aren’t weighted as heavily as IFRs. And 2) they’re trying to be good ambassadors of ATC to the pilot community. They’ll say, “well I want you to call me because it’s safer if I know what you’re doing.”
When I did ATC, I had a pilot friend asked if he should call for FF. Worried that it’s an annoyance. I told him I couldn’t care less if he called. I got paid the same either way and I’m still gonna throw a flight of four F-18s by you regardless. You can either not call and be surprised of their presence, or you can call and have an awareness of the “sharks” that are in the area. I’m still gonna vector traffic around them. Whether or not they call or not, didn’t change that.
It’s only common sense that the controller’s workload will increase. By calling, that’s just one more aircraft creating frequency congestion that could block calls from other aircraft. That’s one more aircraft to write a strip on. It’s another aircraft to type into the system (scope) for local FF. If they’re XC, one more to type into the NAS computer creating an additional handoff. It’s one more aircraft that requires traffic advisories. That’s two traffic advisories vs one. One more aircraft that requires safety alerts. One more aircraft that depending on the airspace may require sequencing and separation. One more aircraft that may require radar vectors (pilot request). One more aircraft that you have to issue weather advisories to. If an emergency, another aircraft to provide priority handling to. Etc, etc, etc.
I did not see his post as discouraging. Just pointing out limitations of the service and common errors when we get complacent.
I use FF only when flying a longer XC in which I'll be traversing and/or arriving in congested/controlled airspace. Makes arrival smoother when already in the system. However, if I'm just up burning gas for the hell of it, I never use FF.
But not so much so as to be an undue burden, otherwise they could just refuse service, right? And the only way to find out if it will be an undue burden would be to request services, no? Plus the controller can at any time say "radarservicesterminatedsquawkVFR" as has happened to me before...
Exactly. It’s rare that I’ve seen controllers deny it for workload. I honestly don’t ever recall denying FF to an aircraft. Plenty of times I’ve said “aircraft calling for flight following standby, I’ll get back to you in a minute.”
My point is, I’ve heard the stories of controllers telling pilots that they want pilots to call them because it’s easier if they know what they’re doing. I just laugh at that. No it’s not easier but it is generally safer. If it were easier, then FF would never get denied. It gets denied on occasion because it does increase workload to such that it’s unmanageable. Should a pilot be concerned about that? Heck no. The controller knows when they’ve reach “brained fried” status and they’ll let you know on initial call up.
I'm talking about the tone of the message.
I don't agree with that at all. See and avoid is a concept that applies to IFR flying, where ATC is required to provide traffic separation. That separation doesn't mean you don't still look out the window, if you can, and apply visual separation, if able. Regardless, just because ATC will sometimes miss a call on FF isn't a reason to avoid it.
I don’t see where he discouraged using FF.
Your statement about see and avoid makes no sense. Can you explain? The only terminology for traffic and seeing said traffic I am aware of is “maintain visual separation.”
See and avoid is literally seeing traffic and not hitting said traffic and applies to all flying all the time. Why do you think it only applies during IFR operations? If you are flying without assistance to identify traffic it’s all you have at your disposal.
Tools such as TCAS, ADSB and FF all help avoid hitting other air craft but looking outside and not hitting anything should always be in use. That’s all he is trying to say.
The only tone problem is in your head. You say here exactly what I said, so by your standard, your tone sucks too. SMH. I never said avoid FF, in fact I say quite the opposite.
Yeah, all in my head. Ok dude.
Lol, yeah, ok.
LOL. "Fun Flying". FF is a tool, nothing else. FF is no guarantee against a Near Mid-Air much less an actual one. It's just another layer of safety. Nothing more.
FWIW, I've had controllers turn me into mountains....at night. They corrected themselves when I objected. Keep your eyes peeled and your neck on a swivel.
First, See and avoid is a requirement. Flight Following isn't.
Spoiler: AC 90-48D
4.1 See-and-Avoid Concept. 4.1.1 Regulatory Basis. The flight rules prescribed in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 set forth the concept of “See and Avoid.” Part 91, § 91.113 prescribes that when weather conditions permit, regardless of whether the operation is conducted under instrument flight rules (IFR) or visual flight rules (VFR), each person operating an aircraft shall maintain vigilance so as to see and avoid other aircraft.
4.1.2 Vigilant Lookout. Pilots should also keep in mind their responsibility for continuously maintaining a vigilant lookout regardless of the type of aircraft being flown. Remember that most midair collision accidents and reported NMAC incidents occurred during good VFR weather conditions and during the hours of daylight.
Second, Never, ever bet your life on the judgment of some person outside the cockpit. Ever.
Last, 91.3 - Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.
"The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft." Not ATC, not the FBO, not the mechanic, not the hot chick sitting right seat, but the PIC. Meaning you if you're the Pilot in Command.
It's a great and useful tool to back up your Mark I Eyeball.
I used to fly out of MCAS Tustin in the early 80s. Somedays, and almost every sunset, when flying from the mountains to the airport, I was effectively IMC. Yes, I used El Toro or whatever I could to back up me on avoiding a mid-air or violating airspace.
It can. It can also turn into that joke heard from Ohare Approach "PUT YOUR COMPASS ON E AND GET THE HELL OUT OF MY AIRSPACE!"
I used to never want to use Flight Following when I first started doing my solo work during my PPL. I dunno why, but I thought that ATC was looking for reasons to violate me. After a while I started using it a lot, then basically for all VFR work. I even took a date for a sightseeing flight and called up and got flight following for it. I told them I was just doing a sightseeing flight and I gave an area that I'd be flying around. ATC was actually appreciative and even gave me bravo clearance since they weren't busy and asked me to just inform them when I was leaving the general area I was in.
In primary my cfi barely mentioned FF. But learning out of a Bravo talking to controllers was no big deal and I utilize FF almost every flight outside of the local area. It’s not just for preventing mid-air collisions. Yes, you are offered weather alerts (someone posed that question in the thread) but more importantly you have someone to declare an emergency to on the spot. They know your location already and can provide helpful services if needed and if I go down they will have a solid starting point for S&R. That is the main reason my XC flights utilize FF.
It’s a free service that adds a safety factor. Use it or not. Your decision.