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When using a VFR Flight Plan who do I contact and how after I open it with the FSS.?

Im am wondering if I contact the FSS station first and then they hand me off, or if I contact the nearest controlling agency request VFR flight following and then contact the FSS, or if I contact the fss and then ATC on my own?

4 Answers

  • John R
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Brendan is completely correct, but you need to understand the purpose and function of a VFR flight plan.

    A VFR flight plan is a request for search and rescue services - that's all it is. You are telling Flight Service that you are leaving from point A, going to point B and you have X hours of fuel, so if no one hears from you in X hours, they should start looking for you. Oh, and you also tell them the color of the plane they would be looking for and the number of bodies on board.

    It has nothing to do with ATC at all, ATC is not aware of VFR flight plans. You can use a VFR flight plan flying a radio-less plane off of a grass strip, to another grass strip, you just open and close it with FSS over the phone.

  • 9 years ago

    FSSs (Flight Service Stations) handle VFR flight plans. Air Traffic Control facilities (Approach or Center) can provide you with flight following. They are separate.

    You could after takeoff first call up the FSS and open your flight plan, then call ATC for flight following. The FSS will not give you a hand-off, but they could suggest a frequency for flight following (you should jot down the frequencies as part of your preflight planning).

    One thing to remember about using VFR flight plans is that you must close them after landing by calling the FSS. The tower will not close a VFR flight plan. They will automatically close an IFR flight plan.

    Source(s): Commercial Pilot Certified Flight Instructor
  • 9 years ago

    A VFR flight plan has absolutely nothing at all to do with ATC. If you want VFR flight following, then it is up to you to call the controlling ATC Center and ask for it. Flight following is not automatic and depends upon controller workload. ATC usually will not open or close a VFR flight plan for you, they will only do that for IFR traffic. If you bothered to read your Airman's Information Manual the procedures are clearly spelled out. If you don't have on it is also accessible online.

  • 9 years ago

    FSS won't hand you to anybody, there's no relationship between flight following and a VFR flight plan.

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