Can a pilot request VFR Flight Following from a tower controller prior to departure?
Or must this be done by an approach control/enroute center controller?
- Turbine ✈Lv 410 years agoBest Answer
Absolutely... I use to give it to pilots all the time from the tower. Although it's usually the ground or clearance-delivery position you'd get it from. When you call up, state that you'd like to depart VFR and request VFR flight following, and your destination. They may ask if you wish to continue FF with the Center if you're going into Center's airspace. This is because most approach control / tower airspace's have their own squawk code subset (such as 03xx or 04xx) for aircraft remaining within terminal airspace. If you plan to venture outside of their airspace, you'd need a Center code (like 4377, 2154, the dreaded 6666, etc).
You can always request / cancel flight following anytime while airborne as well, but it helps if you do it ahead of time. It's a lot easier for the ground controller to enter all the information in the computer ahead of time, rather than the busy approach controller having to change your information in their computer.
Pilots: I sure do recomend visiting any ATC facility to get a perspective from that side of things. You'd understand better what all they're having to do, and why they do certain things. Controllers are also just regular people, like you and I, so never be nervous and intimidated to talk to one. Some are grumpy, while others are more than happy to help in anyway. Some are moody (depends on the day), just depends! :-) Overall they're a great bunch of guys/gals on the other side of the mic.Source(s): Former FAA air traffic control specialist, pilot
- BarbaraLv 44 years ago
Unless the rules have changes, you'll have to make 3 stop and go landings at a towered airport, that would be a good time to ask your tower controller, that's why they are there, to serve you. Same goes for departure, enroute and approach controllers, a lot of pilots are scared to ask them anything if they are flying VFR, but remember, their job is to serve pilots in any way they can. Also, if you're VFR they will have to deny you flight following if their workload doesn't permit them, but I've never heard anybody denied, that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. I've asked for ball scores while VFR and they have always given them to me, especially on nights or weekends, they're as bored as you are on a long cross country, and they know you're trying to stay awake.
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- Joe DLv 410 years ago
At towered airports, I often request FF from ground control on my initial call-up prior to taxi and they'll give me a squawk code, just like if I were to request an IFR clearance from ground. I've probably done this at a dozen different towered airports around the country and have never been turned down, but I can't guarantee that you will have success with it at every towered airport or every time at a given airport -- I'm just commenting on my own experience.
- 10 years ago
Absolutely, and I recommend it. If you get denied, oh well, but I never have. I would request it with the first controller you speak with, whether that is clearance delivery or ground, or whoever. Let them know then that you want flight following, they will probably give you a squawk code, and off you go.
- jtk15sc15Lv 510 years ago
yeah, depending on the tower they'll just hand you off to Center after you are out of departure airspace.
a small class D IPT, Pennsylvania gets pissed if i request it, whereas CXY, Pennsylvania (serviced by a TRSA) will set up the handoff and everything.
- Anonymous10 years ago
Usually it is requested directly from a radar controller (TRACON or ARTCC)... You can request the service from the tower, but they are not required to coordinate or provide such service outside of normal ATC funcitons.
- Warbird PilotLv 710 years ago
On the deck you'd do this with clearance delivery or ground.
- Alloy BoyLv 510 years ago
Sure.Source(s): i do it once in a while