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-   -   VFR Flight Following -- What's going on here? (http://www.aviationbanter.com/showthread.php?t=29233)

Newps June 21st 05 04:38 PM



Chris G. wrote:

I have placed a call to the local FSDO for the exact regulations
governing this, but I speak from experience, having been a State SAR
Coordinator backup for the State of Oregon a few years ago.


FSDO is not the right place to call. Call your local TRACON or Center.



Newps June 21st 05 04:40 PM



John Galban wrote:




You'd better need to land at that controlled field pretty badly
because you'll be busting the regs if you do that. Squawking 7600
doesn't relieve you of the requirement to establish two-way
communictions prior to entering a class D.


Oh please. That's crap. If you lose comm and squawk 7600 just fly
right at the tower and look for the green light. Then land.


Newps June 21st 05 04:42 PM



John Galban wrote:


Jay Honeck wrote:
snippage

How would *you* have handled it?




What I do when this happens is to stay on the freq. an wait until
some airliner overhead talks to the controller (be it Center or
Approach). Then I ask him to relay a msg. to the controller that I'm
out of radio range and will squawk VFR. Wherever there's Center or
Approach coverage, I'm usually within line of sight of an airliner
overhead that is already talking to them.


Nowadays make a call on 121.5. There's a million aircraft listening
there these days. Some aircraft will hear you and relay the message.


Gig 601XL Builder June 21st 05 04:47 PM


Newps,

Are you a Center controller? If so e-mail me off list I have a question

wrDOTgiaconaATcoxDOTnet

remove the big stuff



Scott Migaldi June 21st 05 05:09 PM

Another suggestion was to call Champaign Approach and let them know what
was going on. If you were close to Rantoul you were in range of them.

Scott


Jay Honeck wrote:
On the first leg of our flight to Washington, D.C., we only made it as
far as Rantoul, Illinois, due to thunderstorms. We were utilizing VFR
flight following, starting with Cedar Rapids Approach (CID)and being
progressively handed off until we were talking to Chicago Center.

As we approached Rantoul, we had to divert around a cell. At that
point I told Center I needed to leave the frequency to check with
Flight Watch, which was approved.

While talking with Flight Watch (and getting the bad news that the
weather was falling apart pretty much everywhere) we dropped down to
2500 feet, and then down to 2000 to get beneath a thickening layer of
clouds.

After completing our weather briefing, we switched back to Chicago's
frequency, but were no longer able to communicate with Chicago Center.
I heard them call me once, but they were unable to hear my response,
probably because we were too low.

We zigged and zagged a bit until we decided to throw in the towel and
land for the night in Rantoul. I tried Chicago Center one more time,
heard no response, and switched to Unicom and landed.

After landing (and finding no one at the airport) we started
fruitlessly calling cab companies (no answer) and hotels (no shuttle
service). About the time we were going to walk to the nearest hotel
(about a mile away) a car pulled around the corner with a flashing
yellow light on top.

It turned out to be the airport manager, who had been called at home by
Chicago Center. They asked him to contact me, so he drove out to the
airport and told me that "Center wants to talk to you."

He was under the impression that I had not closed a flight plan, and
was quite surprised when we told him that we didn't *have* a flight
plan filed. Nevertheless, I called the number, spoke with the Head
Cheese at Chicago Center, and told him what had happened. He fully
understood the situation, and thanked me for calling.

So what's going on here? Usually Chicago Center's version of "Flight
Following" (if you can get it) is so casual, and so begrudgingly
offered, that I hardly consider it to be of any service whatsoever --
yet on this particular flight they were tracking our progress all the
way to the ground?

In the end, it was a terrific turn of events, as the airport manager
opened the FBO and got us the keys to a courtesy car, and then led us
over to the hotel. (He even invited us to stop at a bar with him,
which we declined...) Still, it's had us wondering ever since why
Chicago Center was so concerned that they dispatched the airport
manager to go looking for us.

Were they just concerned with our well-being in the bad weather? Did
our zigging and zagging -- and then dropping off their scopes -- look
like a plane in distress? Did something get scrambled in their
computers, making them believe that we had filed a flight plan? Is
there an FAR requiring us to cancel flight following?

Now that I think about it, I suppose we could have asked Flight Watch
to notify Chicago Center when we could no longer hear them, but frankly
it never dawned on me that Chicago really cared that much about what
happened outside of their Class B airspace.

How would *you* have handled it?
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"



--
--------------------
Scott F. Migaldi
CP-ASEL-IA
MI-150972

Join the PADI Instructor Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PADI-Instructors/

--------------------

John Clonts June 21st 05 05:29 PM

Are you a Center controller? If so e-mail me off list I have a question


Why not post it here?


Ben Hallert June 21st 05 06:11 PM

How? If they have to rely on primary radar alone, then how could they
reasonably be sure they were watching the plane they thought they were?


Gig 601XL Builder June 21st 05 06:56 PM


"John Clonts" wrote in message
ups.com...
Are you a Center controller? If so e-mail me off list I have a question



Why not post it here?


Because it is not a question I choose to ask online and would probably be of
no interest to the group as a whole.



Dave Butler June 21st 05 07:17 PM

Ben Hallert wrote:
How? If they have to rely on primary radar alone, then how could they
reasonably be sure they were watching the plane they thought they were?


If it's a slow day they'll give you vectors and watch to see whether their
target turns.

Jay Honeck June 21st 05 09:31 PM


I've had radar facilities chase me down after I've lost comms with them
during VFR FF. They want to make sure they didn't lose you and
something bad happened to you (like you crashed). Just consider it
an extra service.


It is a required service. If they lose you unexpectedly ATC is required
to start a search. In Jay's case he was cruising merrily along, asked
to switch to Flight Watch and then disappeared. Meanwhile Center is
watching Jay descend and can't get a hold of him. Pretty soon he drops
off radar. So call the most likely spot, the airport. If the manager
wouldn't have found him then SAR would have been started.


Thanks for the clarification.

It's nice to know that the guys manning the Big Eye in the Sky are
watching out for us more carefully than I previously believed.
--
Jay Honeck
Iowa City, IA
Pathfinder N56993
www.AlexisParkInn.com
"Your Aviation Destination"



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