Flight Training - August 2012 - 42

»YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS PIC
TECHNIQUE
For all the safety that it provides, flight following does not relieve you of the responsibility to see and avoid other aircraft. And it does not mean you can sail blithely into Class B or Class C airspace, even if you have been in contact with ATC. Know the boundaries of Class B and C areas as well as the location of restricted and prohibited airspace.

FLIGHT FOLLOWING
Another set of eyes in the sky
» By Jill W. Tallman
ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLES FLOYD

» FILE A FLIGHT PLAN ANYWAY
Many pilots have been known to say, “I don’t file a flight plan. I get flight following.” You should still file and open a flight plan even if you are planning to request VFR traffic advisories, for a couple of very good reasons. You might not get flight following once you launch, especially in or near busy airspace. Also, flight following does not guarantee search and rescue services. If you were to fly out of a sector’s radar coverage area and something happens, who would know where you are?

FLIGHT FOLLOWING—THE PILOTS’ vernacular for VFR traffic advisories—is a useful tool for making your way through the National Airspace System. On a VFR flight, you can ask air traffic control to watch for other traffic in your vicinity. As ATC’s primary responsibility is to maintain separation for IFR traffic, flight following is available to VFR pilots on a workload-permitting basis.

PLUS View the video.

»THE TECHNIQUE
1. MAKE YOUR INITIAL CALL. Start with the approach control or center for where you are. As with all communications with ATC, follow the standard format: Who you are, where you are, and what you need. Make it easy for ATC to find you on the radar screen. Give your altitude and position relative to something such as a VOR or a radial from a VOR. Sample call: “Potomac Approach, November One-Two-Three-Four-Five, 10 miles west of the Frederick VOR, 7,500 feet. Request flight following.” ATC will ask for your aircraft type and destination.

1.
2. ATC WILL LOOK FOR YOU ON RADAR. They will issue you a transponder code to squawk. Dial it in, and remain on frequency to receive traffic alerts and other information. Remember that flight following depends on radar coverage. Adhering to cloud clearance requirements, choose an altitude high enough that you will be seen, such as above the IFR minimum en route altitude, if possible. If you have to descend, the controller may lose radar coverage and will advise you of that, and may provide a frequency for the next sector.

2.
3. THE CONTROLLER WILL CALL OUT RADAR TARGETS THAT MIGHT CONFLICT WITH YOUR ROUTE OF FLIGHT. Sample call: “Cessna Two-Three-Four, traffic, 11 o’clock, three miles, VFR, northbound, altitude indicates 4,500.” You will acknowledge the transmission by saying either “Cessna Two-Three-Four, looking,” or “Cessna Two-Three-Four, traffic in sight.” The controller may follow up with a transmission that the traffic is not a factor, but if it becomes a collision risk, he or she will issue a safety advisory that may include a suggestion to turn, climb, or descend.

3.

42 /

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Flight Training - August 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - August 2012

Flight Training - August 2012
Contents
President’s Perspective
Right Seat
Letters
Something to See
How It Works
After the Checkride
Tech Tip
News
Final Exam
AOPA Action News
Since You Asked
Success Story News
Member Products
Training Products
ASI News
Flying Carpet
FOLLOW THE MAGENTA LINE
TIME TO CHILL
GETTING WET
TECHNIQUE
Weather
Accident Report
Flight Lesson
Perfect Storm for Pilot Shortage
Career Advisor
Tech Talk
Flight Instructors in the Hot Seat
Good Times for CFIs
Crossed Up
Advertiser Index
Debrief
Flight Training - August 2012 - Flight Training - August 2012
Flight Training - August 2012 - Cover2
Flight Training - August 2012 - Contents
Flight Training - August 2012 - 2
Flight Training - August 2012 - 3
Flight Training - August 2012 - President’s Perspective
Flight Training - August 2012 - 5
Flight Training - August 2012 - Right Seat
Flight Training - August 2012 - 7
Flight Training - August 2012 - Letters
Flight Training - August 2012 - 9
Flight Training - August 2012 - Something to See
Flight Training - August 2012 - 11
Flight Training - August 2012 - How It Works
Flight Training - August 2012 - After the Checkride
Flight Training - August 2012 - Tech Tip
Flight Training - August 2012 - News
Flight Training - August 2012 - Final Exam
Flight Training - August 2012 - AOPA Action News
Flight Training - August 2012 - Since You Asked
Flight Training - August 2012 - 19
Flight Training - August 2012 - Success Story News
Flight Training - August 2012 - Member Products
Flight Training - August 2012 - Training Products
Flight Training - August 2012 - ASI News
Flight Training - August 2012 - Flying Carpet
Flight Training - August 2012 - 25
Flight Training - August 2012 - 26
Flight Training - August 2012 - 27
Flight Training - August 2012 - FOLLOW THE MAGENTA LINE
Flight Training - August 2012 - 29
Flight Training - August 2012 - 30
Flight Training - August 2012 - 31
Flight Training - August 2012 - 32
Flight Training - August 2012 - 33
Flight Training - August 2012 - TIME TO CHILL
Flight Training - August 2012 - 35
Flight Training - August 2012 - 36
Flight Training - August 2012 - 37
Flight Training - August 2012 - GETTING WET
Flight Training - August 2012 - 39
Flight Training - August 2012 - 40
Flight Training - August 2012 - 41
Flight Training - August 2012 - TECHNIQUE
Flight Training - August 2012 - 43
Flight Training - August 2012 - Weather
Flight Training - August 2012 - 45
Flight Training - August 2012 - 46
Flight Training - August 2012 - Accident Report
Flight Training - August 2012 - Flight Lesson
Flight Training - August 2012 - Perfect Storm for Pilot Shortage
Flight Training - August 2012 - Career Advisor
Flight Training - August 2012 - 51
Flight Training - August 2012 - Tech Talk
Flight Training - August 2012 - Flight Instructors in the Hot Seat
Flight Training - August 2012 - Good Times for CFIs
Flight Training - August 2012 - Crossed Up
Flight Training - August 2012 - 56
Flight Training - August 2012 - Advertiser Index
Flight Training - August 2012 - 58
Flight Training - August 2012 - 59
Flight Training - August 2012 - 60
Flight Training - August 2012 - 61
Flight Training - August 2012 - 62
Flight Training - August 2012 - 63
Flight Training - August 2012 - 64
Flight Training - August 2012 - 65
Flight Training - August 2012 - 66
Flight Training - August 2012 - 67
Flight Training - August 2012 - 68
Flight Training - August 2012 - 69
Flight Training - August 2012 - 70
Flight Training - August 2012 - 71
Flight Training - August 2012 - Debrief
Flight Training - August 2012 - Cover3
Flight Training - August 2012 - Cover4
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