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VFR Flight Following Why?

pilotyip

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Observation while flying VFR in the mightly C-172 the other day. Approaching TOL from the south at 5,500' on a 50 mile visibility clear blue day, I thought I would advise TOL approach I was overflying their airspace at 5,500'. I could not get a word in edgewise, there must have been 10 VFR airplanes asking for VFR flight following. So I finally made the call and was told to "Standby and remain clear of class C airspace". That was cool I was doing it anyway. I continued to moniter the freq. The controller kept telling the VFR airplanes he had a VFR aircraft at 5,500' unconfirmed at xxo'clock, etc. He was overloaded, plus he handels the IFR handoff's at CRUXX intersection for traffic going in YIP and PTK. To the point, why is it on a beautiful VFR day pilots have to be talking to someone? Is not the beauty of flying VFR the escape from the constant chatter on the radios? Why do pilots seek to have VFR flight following?
 

CFIse

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pilotyip said:
Observation while flying VFR in the mightly C-172 the other day. Approaching TOL from the south at 5,500' on a 50 mile visibility clear blue day, I thought I would advise TOL approach I was overflying their airspace at 5,500'.

To the point, why is it on a beautiful VFR day pilots have to be talking to someone? Is not the beauty of flying VFR the escape from the constant chatter on the radios? Why do pilots seek to have VFR flight following?

I'm sorry - did you say you were flying VFR but felt the urge to talk to someone? Or is it only OTHER pilots that should get off the frequency, not you?

Yours is a valid question - but it seems you should be able to look to yourself and find an answer you can share with the rest of us.
 

Milkdud99

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pilotyip said:
Observation while flying VFR in the mightly C-172 the other day. Approaching TOL from the south at 5,500' on a 50 mile visibility clear blue day, I thought I would advise TOL approach I was overflying their airspace at 5,500'. I could not get a word in edgewise, there must have been 10 VFR airplanes asking for VFR flight following. So I finally made the call and was told to "Standby and remain clear of class C airspace". That was cool I was doing it anyway. I continued to moniter the freq. The controller kept telling the VFR airplanes he had a VFR aircraft at 5,500' unconfirmed at xxo'clock, etc. He was overloaded, plus he handels the IFR handoff's at CRUXX intersection for traffic going in YIP and PTK. To the point, why is it on a beautiful VFR day pilots have to be talking to someone? Is not the beauty of flying VFR the escape from the constant chatter on the radios? Why do pilots seek to have VFR flight following?

because its an extra set of eyes looking for aircraft along with yours.... and if there is an emergency your already talking to someone...
 

labbats

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I always made my students get it, but I never got it for myself. Clear as mud?
 

paulsalem

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I live in Ohio, and everytime I go up to TOL airspace they are overloaded with VFR flight following. I've never see it that bad any where else in Ohio or WV.

Which usually puts the controllers in a bad mood for any IFR traffic.

Was it a weekend with CAVU weather?
 

Tarzan

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Our insurance at the school requires either a fligth plan or flight following whenever you go cross country. If I am doing a short hop for my side job, as mentioned before, to have an extra set of eyes and and I don't have to worry about one extra thing if I need to holler "MAYDAY!" (twisting up 121.5)
 

FN FAL

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TiredOfTeaching said:
Our insurance at the school requires either a fligth plan or flight following whenever you go cross country. If I am doing a short hop for my side job, as mentioned before, to have an extra set of eyes and and I don't have to worry about one extra thing if I need to holler "MAYDAY!" (twisting up 121.5)
Flight following can be done in house by company...
 

Tarzan

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FN FAL, bring back the dog avatar. I got a chuckle everytime I saw it.
 

Goose Egg

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Never mind flight following, I want to know why any of us bother to talk to anyone at all. I mean, all those pesky control towers and approach facilities and ARTCCs just get in the way and keep us from having the precious in-flight silence that we all deserve as strapping aviators. Some people say that it increases safety and our ability to prevent mid-air collisions, but I just don't buy it--we should be able to fly wherever and how ever we want. Screw public safety. If they can't avoid falling debris, that's their own effing problem. Oh sure, there will be a few "squares" down at the FAA who won't dig the "goose" philosophy, but I think it'll catch on eventually.

-Goose
 
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Ralgha

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pilotyip said:
Why do pilots seek to have VFR flight following?

Because I've almost gotten killed on two occasions by other airplanes. Both on beautful VFR days.
 

PCL_128

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I always had my students get flight following just so they had someone already keyed up to talk to in case something happened. Student pilots have a propensity for getting lost, so I always wanted them to have someone to talk to instead of searching around on their sectional trying to find the closest FSS repeater for a direction steer. If they've been talking to someone from the start of the cross country, then ATC already knows where they are and can help if they get lost.
 

pilotyip

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I guess there is not a high confidence level in see and avoid.
 

Immelman

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pilotyip said:
I guess there is not a high confidence level in see and avoid.

NO, there really isn't... and I have 20/10 vision and keep my eyes outside the airplane.
 

Ralgha

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pilotyip said:
I guess there is not a high confidence level in see and avoid.

No, there's not, because I was doing "see and avoid" when I noticed a flicker of movement out of the corner of my eye. I look to the right and see a light twin (about baron sized) in a 90 degree bank angle pulling away from me. I could see the stains on the underbelly. It lost at least 500 feet in that maneuver. Had the other pilot waited a fraction of a second longer, we both would have been fish bait (there was a river beneath us). Had I been using flight following, it probably wouldn't have happened.

So no, I don't have a high confidence level in see and avoid. I'll take every aid I can get to help me out.
 

GravityHater

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ive had more close encounters when 'talking to someone' than when I was vfr and no talky.

If you are vfr, its "as workload permits",.

Heck, even when IFR (but vmc) I don't count on atc to add any huge layer of protection from collision.

Once, IFR and mostly imc, a pax reported an airplane zip past us very close behind.

the big hole below the nose can help, but the two above the nose are much more important.
 

hindsight2020

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I totally agree about instilling the habit in student pilots, that said, Do as I say not as I do :D

I can't remember the last time I used flight following, it's nice sure but I personally go above the airspace (at least charlie) if I'm going somewhere far. I've noticed the younger instructors are addicted to it, my one old timer never made me use it...I like the old school approach.

It's occupying enough dealing with the controller's mood swings when I'm in the soup trying to get him to clear me for the approach without vectoring me to China, to also do it for the fun of it and talk to him/her while VFR? Maybe at night if I'm lonely and he's falling asleep, but day-VFR? pfff, forget that....:D

I need to go castigate myself now and re-read my ADM for being a naughty anti-authority little boy :D
 

pilotyip

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I guess old timers who never really used it in the VFR environment get along just fine without VFR flight following and the new generation who get raised in the radar environment feels uncomfortable without having radar contact. I am wondering how students in these new glass cockpit C-172's will ever have time to look outside the cockpit, so maybe radar flight following is the wave of the future. I wonder how user fees will effect this?
 

Ralgha

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You're all acting like it's a replacement for looking outside. It's NOT IN ANY WAY a replacement for looking outside, but it is one more set of eyes looking out for you, and that is a fact that can not be changed by any number of arguments by "crusty old timers".

It doesn't matter if your eyes are better, it doesn't matter if the controller is half asleep, it doesn't matter if the frequency is busy. It's still another set of eyes, and the chances of catching another airplane before it becomes a conflict go up, no matter what your opinion of ATC or flight following is.

I "got along just fine without VFR flight following" too, until that baron came within fractions of a second of killing me (beautiful day VFR). Even then I didn't start, it took a Citation nearly cutting me in half with it's tail as it climbed out (beautiful day VFR), and even that didn't do it. It finally took the time when I was doing power on stalls with a student, and I got that wierd sixth sense notion that I should put the nose down and clear the front again, and when I did I saw another airplane coming straight at us (beautiful day VFR). Third time's the charm, I take any help I can get, regardless of how little it is.
 

Lead Sled

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I fly a bizjet in SOCAL. I really want the VFR guys talking to ATC when I'm in the neighborhood. The more people "in the loop" the better.

'Sled
 
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