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Low flight, scenic tours, and flight following

Asked by: 2003 views Airspace, FAA Regulations


Quick question that I can't seem to find the answer too. Most of my flying is IFR based cross country type flights, however, I would like to start "enjoying" flying a bit more as opposed to using it for transportation. That said I would like to do some VFR flights low and slow on the coast in san diego. My question is what are the rules regarding flying low on the coast and flight following. Will ATC allow me to pick up flight following down to say 500', or will I need to pick up the local practice freq and make position reports? Any recommendations for doing this low and slow type flying on the coast in this particular area would be greatly appreciated.

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1 Answers

  1. Ash on Oct 09, 2014

    Hi Tony,

    I fly in the SD area, and in my experience the air-to-air frequency (122.75) for traffic advisories works great when flying low along the coastline. Keep in mind that not all pilots participate (and some that do don’t give great position reports!), so make sure to keep your head on a swivel. Also make sure to bring along your current TAC and use the designated reporting points for your radio calls along the way.

    As far as ATC flight following goes, I have used the service at higher altitudes along the coast (say 3000 and up), but never that low. You could request it, but I’m concerned there won’t be adequate radar coverage (worst case ATC will say is unable).

    If you wanted to fly the “bay” tour, you will have to talk with ATC (Lindbergh and North Island control towers) for clearance into the Class B and Class D respectfully. That’s a fun trip, but does require some serious preflight planning to pull off!

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