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Flight Following Question

Old 23rd May 2016, 23:30
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Australia
Age: 41
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Flight Following Question

G'Day Team,
(Very) average ppl here. After about 10 years of flying around the bush and being terrified of controlled airspace, I finally plucked up the courage to use flight following.
I must say it was awesome, an absolute revelation. ATC were very helpful and patient with the little errors of protocol made. Helpfully cleared me to 10000 so i was able to get above smoke haze over the ranges.

So just some questions:
-If using flight following in class E or G and about to transit a military zone (eg. amberley), will Brisbane centre co-ordinate hand-off to amberley?
-What about going from Class E or G into class C? Will ATC co-ordinate?

Your comments are appreciated?

Thanks
Flanker978 is offline  
Old 24th May 2016, 03:19
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Don't need to be courageous to talk to ATC. We're more than happy to provide FF (SIS) if possible. Having a plan in helps. Much rather a VFR on a SIS is identified with a plan in and then requires clearance than someone calling 2 miles to run to the terminal area with no plan, no idea and not identified.

Re: Mil zones, if you are on a code we would point you out as a matter of courtesy to you and the Mil, but that doesn't necessarily change whether you'll be getting clearance.

Re: class C - if it's the same sector's class C you'll be cleared through it usually without having to ask or told it won't be available. If it's a terminal area, we'll point you out but as above, no real bearing on whether you'll receive clearance.
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Old 24th May 2016, 03:36
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So basically, will still have to contact Mil zone or Terminal zone prior to get clearance?

How does one find out where radar coverage and therefore flight following is available?
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Old 24th May 2016, 03:39
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Originally Posted by Flanker978 View Post
So basically, will still have to contact Mil zone or Terminal zone prior to get clearance?

How does one find out where radar coverage and therefore flight following is available?
Yeah if you are under a SIS we will instruct you to call the next unit to request/expect airways clearance, or tell you it won't be available, squawk 1200 etc. Have a root around on Airservices website for surveillance coverage maps, bearing in mind it can differ day to day. It's always free to ask, you can squawk ident and if we don't see you we can advise better on local coverage and at what level or position you might get on.
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Old 24th May 2016, 03:52
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Awesome mate. Thanks for your help
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Old 25th May 2016, 04:10
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Good to see ATC Ppruners helping this person out. Well done guys and/or gals.

Couldn't help thinking though that a couple of years ago this pilot would have been able to attend, or phone, a briefing office to get the answer.

Now it looks as if PPRuNe fora are the new briefing offices !
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Old 25th May 2016, 05:33
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Originally Posted by QSK? View Post
Good to see ATC Ppruners helping this person out. Well done guys and/or gals.

Couldn't help thinking though that a couple of years ago this pilot would have been able to attend, or phone, a briefing office to get the answer.

Now it looks as if PPRuNe fora are the new briefing offices !
Well I think those of us who work with Class E and G find life is easier when pilots are educated and pilots also feel more comfortable when they have some more knowledge too. I don't like the thought that some pilots are 'fearful' of ATCs when a bit of help might make a lot of difference.
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Old 25th May 2016, 06:01
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Unfortunately it's well more than a couple of years ago! As an FSO it was nice to put a face to a voice over the counter.
le Pingouin is offline  
Old 25th May 2016, 12:50
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Hi Flypy,

Thanks for these comments.

At the risk ask of thread drift I have more general question about flight planning.

When flying VFR I'll normally submit a SAR time but not a full flight plan. The SAR is less effort and I don't see any advantage in having a full plan, in most cases. If I know I'll be speaking to ATC, say for a Bass Strait crossing, I'll lodge a plan but otherwise, no.

Is there anything I'm overlooking here. Do the ATC guys and gals have preference as to what I do?
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Old 25th May 2016, 13:44
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Originally Posted by Flying Ted View Post
Do the ATC guys and gals have preference as to what I do?
Hi Ted,

What you're doing currently is pretty good practice I'd say. If you're going to entering any CTA whether it be enroute, terminal, tower or military you should definitely have a plan.

If you think you might want to request flight following (SIS) at some point, it's not required but it's certainly easier and if we're busy it might make the difference between getting the service or not. I'd highlight too what the original poster described whereby he needed a clearance to get above smoke - you never really know what you might encounter and what services you might need.




I
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Old 26th May 2016, 09:44
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Re the SARTIME vs flight plan - it may be an obvious point, but if you're using a SARTIME then it's fine as long as someone knows fairly closely what route you'll be following, otherwise it could be a long time before anyone finds you.
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