Announce Altitude Change VFR w/FF?

Announce Altitude Change VFR w/FF?

Postby dmackusick » Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:07 am

I've heard people flying VFR with flight following report an altitude change such as "leaving 8,500 for 3,500". Let's assume they have been directed to maintain appropriate VFR altitudes and they have not been directed to fly any particular altitude or to report altitude changes. Are such reports good practice? Appreciated by controllers? Annoying to controllers?
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Re: Announce Altitude Change VFR w/FF?

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:16 am

The only time it's required is if the controller says something along the lines of, "report prior to any altitude changes." This typically occurs if you are at the floor or ceiling of their airspace, where a further climb or descent would mandate a handoff or pointout to the other controller.

Opinions are divided on this, you're going to hear a lot of answers. If it's a long flight, and I'm amending my cruise in what I intend to be a one-off exercise, then I might proactively advise the controller so they're not wondering a) is this the new intended cruise, and b) have I reached the new altitude yet or not? However, if I'm sightseeing and intend on changing altitudes quite a bit, that will become fairly obviously and I won't report it unless told to do so. These aren't firm rules, just best practices that I've derived over time and having had to work virtual traffic from the ATC side. Those are the things I'd certainly like to know if I've got a bunch of VFR aircraft who are receiving advisories.
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Re: Announce Altitude Change VFR w/FF?

Postby dmackusick » Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:30 pm

Thanks Keith! That's helpful.
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