Flight following - not sure why I didn't use it before

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by samiamPA, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. BryanAV8R

    BryanAV8R Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Never had mic fright...by the time I got to flying lessons, I'd been an amateur radio op for 17 years (still am...), 12 years in broadcasting (4 yrs behind the mic), and never thought twice about it. Oh, you have to learn the 'glossary' (ie short, sweet, to the point with commonly agreed-upon phraseology), but frightening? I guess, if your CFI didn't stress the need to learn how or 'play act' with you on the ground in the classroom.

    It's a matter of developing just one of those skills you need to have as a pretender to the left seat club. If you're flying in the middle of Kansas (a beautiful state...lived there for a few years...just using it for example) out of a small field with you and your buds...I can see where approaching NY Tracon and trying to fit in a word to get them to notice you can be a bit daunting. OTOH, learning to fly under the Mode C NY veil wedged in between NYC and PHL Class Bs, a Class C 20 minutes away, a TRSA further up and one to the west...and POTUS TFRs, etc etc etc...you get used to keying up and talking to someone.
     
  2. Doomer

    Doomer Filing Flight Plan

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    Our tax dollars pay for it, so damn right I'm using FF as often as I can!
     
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  3. caverjamie

    caverjamie Filing Flight Plan

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    I’ve debated getting FF but just haven’t been able to convince myself to actually do it other than a couple times just for practice. I typically only contact ATC when I want in their airspace. So, I have adsb in and out and targets display on my EFIS right in front of me, so it’s an easy reference to glance at. I do make a point to monitor any approach frequencies when I have been near C or B, use the local altimeter setting that they are using, and I have heard them call me out as traffic to others. Every time that has happened I already saw them on adsb and could see their flight path and altitude relative to me, like I was monitoring our relative flight paths even before ATC called me out to them.

    I feel like all that has been a sufficient amount of situational awareness. I have been shocked how much trouble I have had trying to make visual contact with adsb targets, which especially concerns me about trying to see and avoid non adsb-out traffic out there. I’ve read conflicting information on my onboard traffic picture versus what ATC can see. I am usually receiving both a tis-b data link as well as air to air from other transponder equipped aircraft, but if ATC can see more than I can, then I see extra value in FF there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
  4. LesGawlik

    LesGawlik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am worried about being denied a pop-up just when I need it RFN. I figure that I am much more likely to get a pop-up if they are already looking at all my data on their screen. The OB boys just says it's a click and altitude re-assignment.
     
  5. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you’re denied a pop up it’s because there’s no room to fit you in. Even with ADS-B they’re still required to have you on a local transponder code vs 1200. That only takes a few seconds to type in.
     
  6. Hengelo

    Hengelo Pre-Flight

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    I don't understand why anyone would *not* use it. It's free, and fantastic.
     
  7. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depending on the situation, this could be an emergency, getting denied a pop up IFR clearance. If you are in IMC and they say no, declare. If you can get on the ground VFR, do that and file.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2021
  8. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Cleared for Takeoff

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    NY approach quite often denies Flight Following, so it is not “always” available. You can predict before calling whether you even have a chance of getting a code or not.

    Last time I went up, I was denied, but it is still worth a try. If they can’t work me into the system, I’ll just listen to the approach frequency and then I am at leave able to declare an emergency if needed and sometime get to hear myself as the “traffic 2 o’clock, unknown type”. If that happens, I’ll call them up and let them know that I am the “traffic”.
     
  9. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just to be clear, I was talking about getting a pop up IFR clearance, declaring an emergency because you can't get flight following is most likely really frowned upon. ;)
     
  10. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Cleared for Takeoff

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    I was obviously not talking about declaring an emergency just because they denied Flight Following. Having the right frequency pulled up saves a few precious seconds, and a few more precious brain cells when the fan does actually stop turning.
     
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  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sure and if it results in an emergency (IIMC) because the clearance was denied, then it won’t matter if you’re in the system or not. The controller is gonna issue the clearance because it’s now been elevated to an emergency.

    What I’m getting at is, while already being in the system under FF reduces a few keystrokes for an IFR pick up, it’s not going to be a determine factor in denial. Takes only a few seconds to squawk up a VFR call up and then clear them IFR. If they don’t have the room or the time to do that, then they don’t have it for someone in the system either. ATC service is first come first served so a VFR call up might have more of a delay in service but a complete denial of a service is a completely different thing.
     
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  12. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Line Up and Wait

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    Been wondering ... how many ATC facilities monitor 121.5?
     
  13. CT583

    CT583 Pre-Flight

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    I think it’s some guy named Brandon who has a house full of cats.
     
  14. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    All of them as far as I know, well every one that I've ever worked monitors 121.5. It isn't just for pilots declaring emergencies, it's to warn a pilot about something. If only all pilots were required to monitor 121.5 it would actually accomplish something. Try working in an ATC facility during the Superbowl or the last game of the World Series.
     
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  15. PastZTL

    PastZTL Filing Flight Plan

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    My former facility had 121.5 at 4 (IIRC) different sites. All were monitored, most of time in the speaker instead of the controller's headset. Any transmission could be heard by most of the controllers in the area.
     
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  16. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    That's how they all have been for me. If you had that in your ear, you'd go nuts with all the meows and let's go Brandons, not to mention it would drown out who you were trying to talk to.
     
  17. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    At some point someone needs to tell them off.
     
  18. Hengelo

    Hengelo Pre-Flight

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    At some point radios will have an id built in. Anonymity encourages so much bad behavior.
     
  19. CT583

    CT583 Pre-Flight

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    If the HAM operators can triangulate frequency abusers, I’m sure the same can be done for airborne aircraft and ADSB.
    If they wanted to crack down that would be the only way with current tech.
    But I don’t see that happening right meow, possibly in the future.
     
  20. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Line Up and Wait

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    I see what you did there.
     
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  21. Hengelo

    Hengelo Pre-Flight

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  22. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Line Up and Wait

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  23. cowtowner

    cowtowner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I use FF on every single flight over 50nm. A promise I made to my wife when I got my ticket. 300 hours later, I'm pretty comfortable talking to ATC and they have saved my bacon a time or two.

     
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  24. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Line Up and Wait

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    ATC can call mode A traffic for you that ADS-B doesn't see...
     
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  25. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I always used it; a plus is if you aren't IR rated yet, you get very comfy talking to various ATC facilities, making that part a non-issue.