Flight Following to Multiple Airports in a Short Time Period

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by krrbyinthesky, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. krrbyinthesky

    krrbyinthesky Filing Flight Plan

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    For all cross country flights, my school requires that we file a flight plan and get flight following. However, I wish to use my next 3hr xc to visit 12 or so airports (all uncontrolled excluding my base), and feel that the jumping on and off with center would only serve to be an inconvenience to them, with most legs being 20nm or less. Thoughts?
     
  2. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Center won't care. It's much more straightforward to just get flight following for each leg in the same manner as everyone else.
     
  3. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    :yeahthat: If you don't file a flight plan for each of the legs, just be sure to get flight following. Makes it easier on you and it serves the same purpose.
     
  4. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    If you are just doing a quick T&G...just communicate with ATC in plain 'ol English your intentions. It is common for them to keep you on the same squwak and check back in with them after CTAF and you keep going wothut missing a beat or having to re-establish from scratch. Just let controller what you are doing and they will tell ya best way for them.
     
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  5. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    This.
     
  6. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    Yup- just tell them you'll be doing a touch and go at whatever strip you're flying to and that you'd like to keep the same beacon code.
     
  7. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    A VFR flight plan and flight following?
     
  8. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Yes, they both provide a set of eyes and makes someone aware of your location.

    If I fly a VFR XC and don't file a flight plan I'll get FF.
     
  9. MikeELP

    MikeELP Pattern Altitude

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    Not so. A VFR flight plan is really nothing more than a "I intend to go from point A to point B via this route" and in the case of SAR being needed if you no-show at your destination it gives them your route of flight, but nothing more. It is certainly not an extra set of eyes.
     
  10. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    @Ryanb What @MikeELP said.
     
  11. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    That is true, however the principal is the same. They both make someone aware of your location. If something were to happen while on a flight plan, SAR would have a good idea of your whereabouts bearing you stayed along your filed route, same goes for FF, although your location is much more precise.

    The same cannot be said for someone who chooses not to use either service and just fly VFR to who knows where.
     
  12. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    If on FF an electrical fire takes out your radio and transponder and causes you to go down in the woods, would ATC initiate SAR?

    If you're 10nm from your destination and ATC says "switch to advisory frequency and squawk VFR" just prior to going down then you are really screwed without a VFR flight plan.
     
  13. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    A controller would say "Bring on the inconvenience!" because pay and promotions are based in part on traffic count. Don't talk to ATC and you are denying food and shelter to controller families (slight exaggeration).

    Yes, get FF for every leg of your flight if ATC workload permits.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  14. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    They would have an exact location based on your last radar return and then notify the local authorities, who then act as SAR.
     
  15. Mike I

    Mike I Line Up and Wait

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    They would most likely transmit into the blind "N12345, Radar contact lost, squawk 1200 and resume own navigation".

    FF is unlikely to trigger SAR when contact is lost. A flight plan, in turn, causes FSS to assume the worst unless you close it.
     
  16. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I did my multi leg long XC during training with FF. Controller knew my final destination and asked if I was planning to stay at my intermediate airport very long; I told him I'd just land, taxi back, and take off. He told me to keep my squawk and reestablish contact when airborne again.
     
  17. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Are you certain of that? There's been at least one time that I flew a plane with weak radios where I lost radio contact ~10nm from my destination. I simply switched to CTAF, landed and never had any indication of SAR activity. Since I was with Center, they couldn't have seen me land since there was no coverage near that airport below 3000AGL.
     
  18. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    Call the Center on the phone and ask to speak to a supervisor. Tell the receptionist that you are a pilot with a question. Or call after business hours and you will probably get the shift supervisor. Almost guaranteed they will be interested in helping, especially if you tell them you are a student. Calling ATC with questions is IMO a good habit to get into. With over 1,000 hours and over 130 airports in my logbook I still make a call with a question once or twice a year. Also if you have a nearby tower or, better, a TRACON, call them and ask if you can visit. You'll learn a lot.
     
  19. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    Not true. An aircraft that disappears under flight following is considered an "overdue or unreported aircraft" and SAR procedures "will be initiated." I actually had this happen when running Air Branch for a CAP mission one time. One of my guys on FF dropped out of contact with Center instead of checking out when landing for fuel. Since we were working with Center they called me and I got the job of sorting it out. In more usual circumstances, Chapter 8 of JO7110.10X SAR procedures are followed.

    Yes, but much, much later than a missing airplane search triggered because you disappeared while on FF. IMO VFR flight plans are the least effective way to let the FAA know what you're up to.
     
  20. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, an unexpected loss of radar and comms while on FF, is considered an emergency. Center gets notified, they notify RCC and get the SAR ball rolling.
     
  21. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    The written procedures I have seen (Chapter 8 of JO7110.10X) are not quite this. FSS is notified and does some exercises to attempt to locate the airplane. Only after this is AFRCC notified. Now with the corporatization of FSSs maybe things have been changed. But regardless, the end goal is achieved. People are working to find the missing aircraft.
     
  22. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's because you're looking at the Flight Services manual. Controller actions are in the 7110.65 (ATC manual) Ch10 section 3 under "Overdue Aircraft."
     
  23. airdale

    airdale Pattern Altitude

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    Thank you. Always nice to learn something. Over 1,000 pages in just those two. I'm glad I don't work for ATC! :)
     
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  24. Mike I

    Mike I Line Up and Wait

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    Sure, if I suddenly disappear from radar at 7500' and go lost comm, sure. But if I'm cruising along at 1500' on the edge of a controller's airspace, with FF, and I drop off, they're not automatically going to come looking for me. It's plausible I landed somewhere and didn't mention it, dropped out of radar coverage, or turned off the transponder if I exited the Mode C veil and or otherwise.

    My point is that FF isn't automatic SAR coverage. Simply because the aircraft drops off radar and stops talking, doesn't mean the big red button gets pushed. The key word you used is "unexpected". If it's plausible the plane landed/changed freqs/code, no SAR.
     
  25. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Everytime I've self briefed on Lockmart's website and filed a VFR flight plan on the web, when I called up for flight following they asked me if I wanted to activate my flight plan to XXX airport.

    In regards to the original poster - I've wrote in the comments section "multiple legs, touch and goes @ XXX, YYY & ZZZ" and kept the same squawk
     
  26. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Having been the recipient of ALNOTs for aircraft that have done exactly what you describe, this is not correct. Loss of radar and radio contact is a potentially critical situation, and is treated as such.
     
  27. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Sounds like a belt and suspenders type
     
  28. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    Huh. I don't make a habit of it, but I've had a couple times where radio coverage was spotty and lost contact with my FF controller. I would generally, in that case, transmit in the blind that I was going VFR and switch to 1200. What prevented anyone from chasing after me? Likely they heard me when I couldn't hear them? They noted the switch to 1200?
     
  29. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Probably, they didn't lose radar contact. They can also query other aircraft, but you would hear the reply.
     
  30. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Who are you calling?
     
  31. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Someone that's going above and beyond normal FF duties.;)
     
  32. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    My guess is he called Radio asking for FF
     
  33. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    Guess I'm the oddball... I file a VFR Flightplan and get FF... FF mostly because I'm usually in and around CLT Bravo at one point or another and I'd rather them know who I am and where I'm going than just seeing a 1200 tooling around the perimeter... Plus using LHM easy open/easy close feature//filing is a non-issue, just a quick text message...So why not?
     
  34. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I do that as well in CAP aircraft for non-supervised flights over 50 miles, as it is required. I have NEVER encountered ATC even being aware of a VFR flight plan, except in the case where you forget to close it.

    FSS will relay requests to ATC under some circumstances, but usually that's for getting IFR clearances when you can't reach ATC.
     
  35. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sorry slow to reply, I'm on the road

    The first one that pops in mind was coming out of Massey Ranch and calling Daytona Approach
     
  36. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Hmm. Wonder if something new is happening. As automated as everything is, maybe it will become more common. If the controller doesn't have to do anything more than push a button, why not?
     
  37. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Ya ain't alone. I do it a lot to. It's not like they are 2 different ways of doing the same thing. They are 2 different things. Traffic Advisories, aka, Flight Following, gives a lot of the benefits of a VFR Flight Plan, but not all.
     
  38. Cajun_Flyer

    Cajun_Flyer Pattern Altitude

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    When you guys are talking about filing flight plans, I imagine you mean filing AND activating them? I always file a flight plan... takes little time using Foreflight, but I don't activate it unless I get denied flight following.
     
  39. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm thinking so, I've briefed and filed online and then changed plans based on weather, without refiling. Subsequently when picking up flight following they would ask if I was still going to XXX on my flight plan, after I asked for FF to YYY ?
     
  40. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bob G mentioned in another thread that ATC would soon have access to VFR flight plans. Possibly it's starting to be implemented in some areas.