Flight following - Major mistake

From 10 flights where I requested flight following, 9/10 controllers gave me vectors and altitudes.
It is important in the ATC tests or some how to teach the new controller (and the old ones) to understand that Flight Following means that the Pilot is using own navigation (Flight Plan) and the ATC is giving him vectors and altitudes just in case the pilot is on a collision path or not following the airspace rules (VS/KTS/ALT).


True but most people that send me a ‘flight following’ request doesn’t even have a flight plan filed. They don’t know what it means. It is also much more likely to be allowed in open space (from departure to destination approach) as you enter an airport approach pattern with lots of traffic, odds are you’ll have to deviate to be properly sequenced.


You have to have a flight plan or waypoint at least to send flight following

That’s what i mean. How we can teach pilots to make a flight plan and controllers to understand that the flight following is not vectors approach

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If the airspace is busy, they might have to vector you. Remember, ATC vectors always takes priority over your own flight plan.

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Yes, of course. I also followed the vectors but in the end i had a vector flight with no significant traffic around me for the hole flight. Not to mention that they ask for flight level 025 at 30nm from the airport. I know that you can find excuses but i am speaking here about unprofessional people not learning the basic rules. It important for us to handle the problem on advanced server and not ending up like other platforms where every body is doing what he want.

Not really true. Flight following is a service to provide traffic information and monitoring the flight for alerting service. When providing radar flight following, ATC can vector plane out of their route when required.
In IF, I don’t think it means anything when pilot request FF cuz ATC can’t provide traffic info which is the basic function of the service. Also, without pilots’ intention, such as FPL and request FL, ATC have difficulty to judge what will happen next. In this case, the most easy way to organize everything is radar vector. Maybe it’s the part what IF can improve to make everything clear and correct.
Requesting radar vector to somewhere doesn’t mean pilots are requesting IFR. So from systematic side, there are lots of things to improve to clarify who wants IFR/VFR and following services based on the flight rule they take.

Than again you choose to know better then the rules. I agree with you but then you dont responde to proced to course but “expect vectors” then i know the contreoller is not ok woth me and my flight plan. But to answer “proced on course” the bomb each minute with vectors is wrong. Perhaps i choose to go on flight level 360 (when u can find 2 people on map in IF) to avoid his vectors every minute. So you are roght in a way but you didn’t read what i sad.

Not to mention about descent where most of the controlers who see FL350 start to descend you aircraft to FL120 between all the other to play worh his vectors.
Right now woth a propper flight plan and a propper descent you dont bother nobody cause they are all flying 747 and A380 at FL120…

CDO is good. I agree ATC may not need to care when they should descend but of course when required, ATC can still do so.
Another interesting issue, everyone flight high by VFR. But VFR is not allowed higher than FL200 (in my country or 18000 in U.S.). Should we restrict them? ^^
There are too many things to talk about unrealistic procedures in IF ATC envirenment. At least developer team has done a great job for the first step.

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I am not trying to find excuses. I was not sure of the situation. If there is no traffic around you, then there is no reason for ATC to deviate you from your flight plan.


Exactly :) because of the short distance in the game everybody stay low and the only way to get the chance for VFR is to get at high FL. Exactly the opposite to real flight. My concern is how to get a balance in this problem.

Speaking as a learning ATC, I would greatly value a single pdf with every possible instruction that can be given in infinite flight and a brief explanation of it. It’s possible to learn from other sources, but for those of us aspiring to be really excellent pilots and controllers, it would help greatly.


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I agree with Tim. A pdf or spreadsheet showing all possible commands and there meanings. This would be helpful for controllers and pilots.

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That would be really usefull. I think even better is video tutorial for the majority that is still young and not very pleased with texts. We learn our stuff but we deal here worh the majority that doesn’t. I think video is better…

Pierson, I can only speak for myself when controlling but if you’re on flight following and I give you vectors it’s usually to prevent a Big Bang in the sky. Luckily there are no head on collision crashes enabled in I.F. But if there were players would be ghosting themselves. Another point is, if you’re given a descent down early usually there is a reason. As controllers we have to assume that most don’t understand the concept of get down and slow down. If you’re trucking along at 550 G\S and are 50 miles from the airport at 30,000 feet either the controller messed up or you’re way behind the power curve.

In real life we usually start our descent from 120 miles out because at 310 kts and 2200-2500 feet per minute you cover a lot of ground when trying to descend. Best advice I can give you is to be patient and understand that some are just looking out for your best interest. If you’re 30 miles from the airport at 10,000 feet doing 250kts you’re right on profile. Every 1 mile from the airport is 300 feet in altitude for a 3.0 degree glideslope or CDA if that’s what you’d like to call it.

Last, if a controller is looking at spacing for aircraft on an ILS most understand that it takes time to slow to 250kts when they give you a lower altitude. Sometimes this altitude is assigned pretty far out in order to give you time to slow and them start your descent thus not receiving a violation for controller mismanagement. Remember we are here to serve you and want to make your experience the best possible but we are also human ;).

Happy Landings,



I agree with you. I am doing myself controller and when I fly I do it proper after the flight plan manual. You didn’t read all the discussion with the others. The problem is the distance in IF and the people who are not able to be controllers but they are. We know how to but a lot of people are not interested to learn or learning to slow :)

When I’m controlling I will allow flight following if they are a ways away from the airport or if they have a flight plan but if it’s busy I will issue the ALS approach only message. But if they enter the pattern and need to be re routed a little I will do so until they are clear then tell them to resume own navigation. What bugs me is when they request for flight following but there are 10 plus aircraft on approach and you tell them to go on ILS approach and they send flight following requests 5 more times then just change fequency cause they wheren’t getting what they wanted so everyone that had been following direction has to slow way down to make room for the person that ignored direction.

@Heavydriver thanks for the information I have come to like the atc experience. Although I’m only allowed on the playground server. I sure hope they start testing again soon. I have had a big leading curve to know how far out to start decent and at what speeds. Any bit of info experience individuals such as your self can provide the better. I would love for someone such as yourself to help me get better at directing traffic for more realism and a better experience for all.

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