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Question about Flight Data vs. Center

bgaviator

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Jan 5, 2007
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Can someone answer me why when I have one of our commercial flights land at OAJ and I have to close the IFR plan out, I used to call D.C. Center directly thinking this would be the best method. Well, one day the center controller got mad at me and said I had to call Flight Data to cancel it. So, then we started calling Flight Data, and the flight data person would say, "ok, I'll call center and close it out." Huh? Isn't calling Center what I had been doing? Why go through a middle-man to do the same thing I could just do myself? I dunno, I found it odd. I still use Flight Data now to cancel it out, but it just seems like it would be faster if I could call center myself.
 

BillJBrake

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Dec 18, 2008
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IFR cancellations on the ground are relayed through FSS either via phone or RCO/GCO. By calling the center directly you're skipping that step, and reinforcing how worthless FSS's are right now, and that they often get paid to do nothing (the controllers do all the real work). Your pilots should know this though, as it's pretty standard in non-towered ops to call FSS to cancel or relay a down time, unless you were able to do it in the air with the appropriate center/tracon.
 

bgaviator

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Oh, I agree and I wish the pilots would call FSS to cancel their own plans out....but, they're lazy and call dispatch to do it for them.
 

100-1/2

OVER-N-DUN!
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lifer
Or, how about those times where the local controller (Non-Continuous Operation) forgets to throw the switch over from the RCO Freq to Center? You land, cannot get Center on the radio, have to call "Lockneed" who has no clue who or where you are and which facility is awaiting your cancellation?

I keep old copies of Cellular Pilot around with the phone numbers of the responsible facilities. Short and sweet -tail number -on the ground KXYZ -@1234Local and Pirep ONLY if they ask for it and get off their line. I have never had the guy that just cleared me for the approach despise my call. Screw Lockheed! They are friendly and nice, but so are the old and retarded "greeters" at Wal-Mart. Call ATC direct! It is taped and easier to find if you need it later. The Phone Que at Lockgreed is ridiculous depending on the day, time or location you need to file or cancel.

100-1/2
 

BillJBrake

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Dec 18, 2008
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100-1/2,

That's kind of my point. Lockheed is terrible, a real pathetic excuse for "service" in my opinion. However, the only way this will change is if pilots continue to 'use' it and show all the issues they have with the system, complain, etc. Unfortunately, whenever a pilot just calls the facility and cancels, it's a non-issue. However, if he calls Lockheed, they don't know where the airport is, or the appropriate facility, 2 hrs later the facility has started SAR because they haven't received a cancellation and it's all mainly Lockheeds fault? Then heads will start to turn, keep doing that and slowly over time (hopefully) they'll fix the absolutely SCREWED UP system that the current FSS is.

Sadly, in this industry, squeaky wheel gets the oil, but if they are ableto ignore the complaints or don't get many of them, tey won't proactively do anything to fix it.

Calling the facility directly, while convenient for the pilot and controller, just encourages Lockheed to continue to suck, and emphasizes their uselessness...they get paid to do nothing!
 
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