Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

3 Answers

VFR traffic advisories/Flight following question

Asked by: 1773 views ,
Airspace, FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

The only times I've used flight following have been on my cross country flights from one airport to another. If I wanted to depart from my home airport, fly somewhere for a little sightseeing/maneuvering, and then fly back home, could I ask for radar services from approach control?  and what would be the proper way to make that request?

Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

3 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Aug 23, 2015

    Sure. Just let the controller know your intentions. On occasion, I have asked for flight following while practicing maneuvers.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  2. Russ Roslewski on Aug 23, 2015

    This is the type of thing that it’s easy to overthink. Just tell the controller what you want to do. They handle this type of thing all the time.

    I’d like to circle 5 nm west of airport XYZ at 3500 feet.
    I need to proceed over downtown, then out to the lake, then over highway 95.

    Just plain English, no special terminology.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  3. Heather McNevin on Aug 24, 2015

    This is a great use of flight following! It is a common misunderstanding that you need to be going somewhere to get radar advisories. I really like the idea of getting them if you are out practicing maneuvers, as you are already task saturated and another set of eyes helping with traffic is always a good thing. The minimum information needed is your full callsign, type of aircraft with equipment suffix, and where you are going or what you are doing. In this case, I’d say maneuvering 15 miles southeast of the ABC airport (you get the idea). The biggest challenge I see when I give VFR advisories is that they don’t understand the difference between type of aircraft and equipment suffix. The type is what you are flying (skyhawk, cherokee, etc.) I’d recommend just saying C172 or PA28 as there are quite a few controllers who are not pilots and it is also one less thing for them to think about and translate to put into the computer. The equipment suffix is basically “how are you navigating?” I want to know if I can ask you to “say DME from”, if you don’t have DME, I can’t! There is a chart in the AIM to help you. I am a big advocate of standard phraseology when possible, as this reduces confusion, however if you are unsure how to say something, just speak English, we all understand! The big things are be brief and be responsive (don’t stop listening to us, please!). If you have the time, I’d recommend finding the number to your local ATC facility (The AFD or FSS can help) and go visit! Things are always much less intimidating after you’ve had a chance to see the operation and talk with the controllers.

    +2 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes


The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.