Flight following and touch and goes

Flight following and touch and goes

Postby Wreck-it Relfe » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:42 am

Let's say that I create a VFR flightplan (L52 KPRB AVE KBFL). After departing L52 I overfly the KSBPs Class D and head to KPRB. On the way I ask for flight following and I get it. If I want to drop down and do touch and go's at KPRB and then continue the rest of the flight plan would it be appropriate to cancel FF, do the T&Gs, and then pick up flight following again for the rest of the route? Or should they be two separate flight plans?
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Re: Flight following and touch and goes

Postby kevin meyers » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:10 am

One thing I’ll mention that is a common misconception is that ATC sees your VFR flight plan. VFR flight plans are mostly just for search and rescue purposes if you go missing.

As for your question, just advise the controller what your intentions are. Sometimes, the controller may choose to keep you on your beacon code and just give them a call once you’re done with your touch and go- that way you remain in the system and it’s easier when you pop back up again. Other times, ATC will terminate you entirely and you’ll just have to call up like normal to get flight following again after you are done with your touch and goes.
Last edited by kevin meyers on Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flight following and touch and goes

Postby Keith Smith » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:31 am

Kevin, I assume you're saying it's a common misconception that ATC SEES your flight plan? ie, the reality is that they don't, but the perception is that they do. Your post reads otherwise.

OP, what you do with VFR flight plans and how you interact with ATC in terms of flight following are completely unrelated. One doesn't affect another.
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Re: Flight following and touch and goes

Postby kevin meyers » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:06 pm

Keith Smith wrote:Kevin, I assume you're saying it's a common misconception that ATC SEES your flight plan? ie, the reality is that they don't, but the perception is that they do. Your post reads otherwise.

OP, what you do with VFR flight plans and how you interact with ATC in terms of flight following are completely unrelated. One doesn't affect another.


Sorry, yes. I’ve edited it.
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Re: Flight following and touch and goes

Postby Salire » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:28 pm

On this topic, I took my CAT 6 flight today, and informed ATC (KBFL departure as part of the flight following scenario) that I was going to start my descent from cruising altitude. I was told that it was not needed since I was VFR. Yet AOPA suggests doing this as a best practice. Thoughts?
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Re: Flight following and touch and goes

Postby Wreck-it Relfe » Sat Feb 03, 2018 5:30 pm

Okay so really my question was more about whether to cancel FF every time you stop to do touch and goes somewhere. So from what I’m reading about it doesn’t matter if you cancel or not. Is that correct?
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Re: Flight following and touch and goes

Postby kevin meyers » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:50 pm

Wreck-it Relfe wrote:Okay so really my question was more about whether to cancel FF every time you stop to do touch and goes somewhere. So from what I’m reading about it doesn’t matter if you cancel or not. Is that correct?


Tell ATC what your plan is and they’ll take it from there.
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Re: Flight following and touch and goes

Postby Scott Medeiros » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:23 pm

Salire wrote:On this topic, I took my CAT 6 flight today, and informed ATC (KBFL departure as part of the flight following scenario) that I was going to start my descent from cruising altitude. I was told that it was not needed since I was VFR. Yet AOPA suggests doing this as a best practice. Thoughts?


Sally, it is best practice to advise ATC your plans, but it's not a required report since you're VFR. If ATC hasn't assigned you a specific altitude to maintain, ATC will often state "Report any altitude changes". If you're flying in busy airspace, such as class C or B, they may be separating traffic based on the assumption you'll remain at your VFR cruise altitude. This can be 500' vertically, or less based on visual separation. A sudden, unannounced descent or climb could throw a wrench into ATC's separation plan. However, if you're in quiet, empty airspace, ATC may not care if you change altitude because there is no threat of a conflict.

When in doubt, communicate, it's the best way to ensure we're all on the same page.
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Re: Flight following and touch and goes

Postby Wreck-it Relfe » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:14 am

Thank you all so much. I’ve been flying flightsims silently since MSFS 3. Now I’m on XP11 and will be starting real world Flight training this summer. I thought I could get ahead by trying PE and it has been really great. In the last two weeks of my trial I have learned so much from the community and from your controllers. My mic flight is slowly but surely going away and I look forward to each flight and learning something new everyday. I just wanted to say thank you.
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