Do’s and Don’ts while on Departure

Do…
Contact approach and ask for the service you’re looking for.
One and only one of these…
Checkin
Flight following
Radar vectors
VFR
Don’t…
Checkin, then ask for another service. You’re doubling the workload, and who wants that.
I keep saying this, Checkin is asking for a flight following service. It isn’t the precursor to another service.

Do…
Have a flightplan before checking in or requesting flight following.

Don’t…
Request flight following or checkin without a flightplan.

Both of those requests are telling the radar controller you’ll be following your flightplan, so by definition, you need a flightplan.

Do…
Follow instructions, including ATIS. If departure gives you a heading and altitude, make it so. You always follow the most recent command so if departure tells you to turn with straight out in ATIS, you turn.
If you receive heading alone, you are free to climb.
If you’re given an altitude alone, you are free to turn as long as you are following ATIS and/or tower takeoff instructions.
Don’t…
Ask for altitude if you’ve been given a heading alone, you’re free to climb in that case.
Don’t…
Ask for flight following if you’ve been given a heading thinking that will allow you to ignore the heading.

Here’s what departure is doing for you.

We are getting you on the way to your destination as quickly as we can while maintaining separation with other departures, and weaving you through the maze of arrivals. Many times this involves taking you slightly out of your way to keep everyone safe. We usually set you on a safe course allowing you to gain enough altitude so that you will be clear of arrivals once you resume your flightplan. Sounds simple, but many times with parallel departures, flightplans cross, making it a puzzle that requires some interesting maneuvers.

Most important, follow instructions, I want you on your way and off my frequency as soon as possible. If I’m keeping you on frequency, it’s because I see a conflict that may be many minutes/miles away. Until that conflict no longer exists, I’m going to keep you.

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Don’t …

repeat messages because they can be busy

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Great reminder. Had a great Dep IFATC last night out of KIAH who gave me vectors and height imstructions to clear inbound and other outbound traffic and get me on the way to KMEM.

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Great reminder mate. This will come in handy for many!

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Do follow your SID correctly?

So you don’t check in if you want an ils approach?

if youre arriving just immediately say request ils app whichever runway

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Oh ok then

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One more…

Do…
Have a flightplan before checking in or requesting flight following.

Don’t…
Request flight following or checkin without a flightplan.

Both of those requests are telling the radar controller you’ll be following your flightplan, so by definition, you need a flightplan.

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As a supplement:

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Just ran into this in spades at KDFW just now.

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Sorry if this has already been asked or answered. What would we do if we don’t have a flight plan and don’t intend to have one? Sometimes I just fly out to check the scenery out?

Request VFR flight.

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What would the ATC usually respond with?

Not really my area of expertise, but I believe they would respond with “proceed VFR” or something like that. Perhaps an officer can confirm?

Just to know whether you stay on the frequency or not. Thanks.

Proceed on course, basically, do your thing!

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