Terminating flight following

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by obw, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

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    I took a cross-country flight over the weekend with flight following. I was given the squawk code and subsequent traffic advisories, and about 10 miles from my Class D destination was told to contact the tower.

    I contacted the tower, keeping the original squawk code, and requested touch and go's at the airport. I did several T&Gs and then requested to depart the Class D. At no point was I asked to squawk VFR. When the controller asked me to 'proceed on course', I changed the squawk code to 1200 even though he didn't mention it.

    In a situation like this, when is the appropriate time to squawk VFR if a controller doesn't mention it or say frequency changed approved?
     
  2. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It doesn't hurt to ask the controller.
     
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  3. Swampfox201

    Swampfox201 Line Up and Wait

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    Its possible the tower didn't have radar so they wouldn't know what you are squawking.

    I fly a daily survey flights that originate and end at the same non radar class D airport. The tower always coordinates with center and gives me a transponder code of 1201 before I depart even though I never talk directly to center after departure. It's just towers way of pointing me out to center so center can point me out to IFR/flight following traffic. When I land I've never been told to squawk VFR I just do it when I'm taxing to the FBO.

    Not sure that answers your question other than to say tower may have no idea what you are squawking. I agree with Capn Jack....just ask.
     
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  4. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Usually ATC will say "squawk VFR" or "keep your transponder code." You've already received the good advice to ask ATC if you are unclear about something,

    If they didn't say it and you didn't query it at the time, I think what you did was fine. Unless it was a situation where' discussion with Approach made it clear you were coming back to them (like with practice instrument approaches), your need to squawk the special code ended when you landed the first time.
     
  5. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

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    Very helpful input. Thanks
     
  6. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    Did ATC know that you were going to do some touch-and-goes at the Class D airport, then proceed somewhere else? If so, they may have been intending to provide you with radar service for the next leg of your journey.

    I do this with some regularity with students - we're getting radar service in the practice area, we decide to go into another airport for some pattern work, and then back up for more airwork or to fly home. We'll tell ATC, and often they'll just have us stay on the same squawk code so they don't have to give us a new one when we are done with the pattern work.

    Barring that, what you did was appropriate - assuming ATC thought your flight ended at the Class D airport.
     
  7. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

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    I requested FF direct to the Class D airport but didn't mention the touch and go's at that point, so I'm sure they thought the flight was ending on arrival. I only requested the T&Gs when I was handed over to the Class D tower.
     
  8. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    AIM 4-1-15 b. 2. says that when the PILOT TERMINATES VFR advisory service, "... advise the controller before changing frequencies and then change your transponder code to 1200, if applicable."

    The AIM doesn't say anything about changing the transponder without being told to when ATC changes you to another frequency, i.e. Tower. In that case, it's up to ATC to tell you as some towers use radar and others don't.
     
  9. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route PoA Supporter

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    So just on this note as an example, "Radar Services Terminated", "Squawk VFR", "Contact Tower..." and/or "Frequency Change Approved" are all SEPARATE and distinct instructions and one does not necessary mean the other...meaning "Radar Services Terminated" or "Frequency Change Approved" does not automatically mean squawk VFR if left out of the instruction. Follow controller's instructions. Not your case but pilots often conflate all those instructions and make assumptions.

    Quite often Approach will have you keep the squawk so they know your intentions when advising other planes of traffic advisories even though you are no longer talking to them.

    Now, once you were clear of D and were not going intending to go back to Approach for FF, you should have been 1200 and that would have warranted a query to ATC before changing but probably would have just done the same.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020