rob asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 7 years ago

When to use flight following for VFR?

I am in training for my private pilots license. I realize that while doing practice maneuvers there is not much chance of looking out for other aircraft while doing that. Or in general, for that matter: it is pretty hard to see other planes, even when you know about where they are. I have since learned of VFR flight following. I did not learn it from my instructor, but from another student taking lessons at another flight school at a different airport. I did some checking and you can request it anytime during vfr flight and the controller will tell you if there is any traffic around, towers, etc. I thought "this is great, now I will feel safer when doing maneuvers or any type of vfr flying. So, the other student tells me they use it everytime they are flying.... even for just practicing maneuvers. I have asked my instructor a few times to teach me, and to use it, but he will not do so. He said he will show me when we do our first cross country. I asked him yesterday if we will use it during maneuvers and he said no. So, why not? Why not have the extra safety measure? Its doesn't cost anything... Why would the other flight schools use it, even just doing maneuvers? Should I just deal with it? I hear that instructors pass down bad habits from instructor to student all the time. Is this one of those bad habits getting passed down? Am I blowing it out of proportion?

5 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Best Answer

    Because it's used for cross country flight, not the practice area and it's as time and work load permits by the controller.

  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    VFR Flight Following is intended for use during cross-country operations only. Using it for local flights or while practicing maneuvers is a waste of Air Traffic Control's time and resources that could be better used elsewhere.

    Using VFR flight following, even during a cross-country flight does NOTHING to relieve you from maintaining your own scanning and observation of other air traffic in your area.

  • 7 years ago

    Yes, you are blowing it out of proportion.

    Flight following (or radar surveillance, as it's called in Canada) is useful on long cross-country flights. For local flights it's an unnecessary increase in the controller's workload. You're on radar anyway most of the time, exchanging traffic information on the radio, and generally keeping your eyes peeled. What more do you need?

    Somebody needs to know where you're going, and somebody needs to know when you'll get back. There are several ways to do this. Flight following is one of them.

  • 7 years ago

    Even with "flight following" which isn't for local use you still are to "See and Avoid"! VFR following does not relieve you of looking for traffic nor does it assure you of ATC reports of other traffic! Get a traffic detector like a Zaon XRX but even then learn to look then look again!

    If you really want to get an AdsB receiver and connect it to a tablet! Still look! or

    Source(s): TL
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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Flight following means they'll call the cavalry if you stack it. It is a search and rescue facility. It has absolutely nothing to do with traffic separation, although they do occasionally pass traffic information when you check in if they happen to recall it, but without even access to radar, they are not exactly a separation safety net.

    Source(s): Former flight instructor
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