Really about flight following #2

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by 4RNB, Apr 17, 2021.

  1. 4RNB

    4RNB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As a very new pilot I have very limited experience with flight following, pretty much point to point, though at times going around restricted areas.

    I am hoping to soon take some longer flights that can't easily be done direct. For example, might need to avoid DC, Camp David, and might prefer to avoid Harrisburg. So I've set up a plan to go from home airport to destination via several waypoints, at least one of which I plan to stop at along a proposed 3 hr 20 min flight.

    What is the normal conversation like when requesting flight following when it is not done direct? Does it matter? What should I be telling them and what do they want to know? I assume along the way I can just cancel FF, but what if I just fly a bunch of legs?

    Thanks
     
  2. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not a big deal. Tell them your planned stop as your destination on your first leg. Be ready to provide your on-course heading. They don't care where you go, just give them a rough idea. Pick it up again for your second leg. Don't try to mix up the two into one request.
     
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  3. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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  4. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Easy day in my part of the country. I tell them my destination via whatever my checkpoint(s) are and they never seem to mind the extra info and they don't ask if I'm off course when they see I'm not flying direct.
     
  5. Rick182

    Rick182 Pre-Flight

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    Sometimes you’ll get a “state your intentions” or “what is your on-course heading” or “what is your next point of navigation” but they are just trying to figure out which sector to pass you on to, not because they are annoyed or really care.
     
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  6. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tell them exactly what you want to do
     
  7. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This, I tell them what I want to do. For instance, sometimes I fly to P town, Massachusetts from the home drome. If I ask for flight following direct, it takes me 50 miles over the icy cold atlantic ocean. So I tell them I'm going to p-town via the cape cod shore line. I tell them up front so they know what I'm up to and don't have to ask.
     
  8. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    Keep it simple. I am pretty sure you are referring to the initial call. They only care about your final destination. Get your code. Then fly.

    The center controllers are more concerned about commercial traffic. Don’t clog the channel with unnecessary information. This is my experience anyways in the Rocky Mountain west region.
     
  9. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ...and that's all there is to it. There is not a magic word for everything.

    I agree with @woodchucker in part. Keep it simple. I would give destination in the initial call but I would include my first "via" so the know the direction I am going for traffic management purposes. To use his Rocky Mountain example, we heading into the mountains from south Denver, I would say my plan to cross at Corina (Rollins) pass.

    Then I update them as I go along.

    My theory is simple. (1) if they are nice enough to give me advisories, the least I can to use let them know what I am doing. (2) the controller I am talking to now is probably not the controller I am talking to later so there is no need to give them a bunch of extra waypoints they don't care about.
     
  10. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    1. Get the book, “Say again please.” By bob Gardner. Amazon for $19.95
    2. Read it.
    3. Read it again.
     
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  11. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    I keep it short and to the point - 5 Ws. Who you're calling, Who you are, Where you are, What you want to do, anything Weird or Wonderful.

    Generic: ScaryApproach, SmallSlowShip 666SA, over Podunkville, request advisories enroute to MiddleOfNowhere.

    In modern aircraft the Weird/Wonderful part is often not necessary.

    Me: Philadelphia Approach, Cherokee 134 Alpha Foxtrot, 2 North of Wings, request Class B clearance southbound.
    App: Cherokee 134AF, Squawk 4421, say requested altitude and destination.
    Me: Cherokee 134AF, 3,000, WWD.
    App: 4AF, you are radar contact 2 South of Wings 1,400 feet. You are cleared into the class B. Climb and maintain 3,000, fly direct Philadelphia International then on course Cape May.

    Something Weird Example (this happens at most tower airports):

    Me: Reading Tower, Luscombe 1234, 7 SW, landing Reading with Foxtrot, Negative Transponder. (ATIS is wonderful, negative transponder is weird).
    Twr: Luscombe 1234, Reading tower, squawk 4421, is that an experimental?
    Me: Luscombe 1234, negative transponder, we are a type L8 for your computer.
    Twr: Luscombe 1234, is that you 6 south of Reading?
    Me: Luscombe 1234, Affirmative.
    Twr: Luscombe 1234, report 3 mile right base runway 31, what is a Luscombe.
    Me: It's two seat high wing, think Cessna 120.
    Twr: Luscombe 1234, roger.

    I've put a mistake in the Reading example. First to find it gets a free ride in the Luscombe if a) you come to Wings, and b) you weight less than 200 lbs.
     
  12. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    Hmmm.... can't say I've ever been able to talk to RDG tower without them asking me to contact the phantom RDG approach first.