Flight Following

I have seen it stated that VFR/Flight Following is discouraged on advanced for commercial aircraft. VFR I can understand, but how about FF? I’m asking because there are times when I want to fly my FPL until I am on approach course, then will follow instructions from ATC. For instance, I took off from rwy 16R at Sydney which heads south, however I set my FPL to depart the pattern to the north, swing around to the west and then head south towards Canberra. I was headed north when instructed to contact Sydney approach, which I did. Because I know that there is this sort of unwritten rule that commercial aircraft on IF shouldn’t request FF, I requested radar vectors to Canberra, and sure enough, was directed to immediately turn south. Since I didn’t want to get ghosted, I followed instructions. So, I said all of that to ask, is it okay to request FF?

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Yes. It’s fine to request FF/VFR as long as you haven’t already got a flight path already active. See this reply by @John_Preston21:

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This is ok, BUT only when there is barely any traffic, three or more planes, we might have to vector you for an ILS, just to make good spacing.

Sounds like you should choose the checkin option.

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See, this is what I mean. Some say yes you can request FF, others say no you can’t. When I check in, almost without exception I get say intentions. If I’m not supposed to request FF, the only alternatives are radar or ILS. so, it might annoy some controllers, but, if I just want to follow an FPL, I’ll just request following, unless I’m approaching for landing, in which case I’ll certainly follow all instructions. Thanks for all the feedback. See you in the skies!

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@Steve_Corley I’m the same. We need an option to ‘file an IFR flight plan’ prior to departure if we want to keep on our own plan until approaching the destination.

As always happens, when I just ‘check in’ I’m always hit with a ‘say intentions’. I don’t want an ILS approach 140 NM out, and I don’t generally like the radar vectors I’m given, so I select flight following too.

We simply need a new option for flying our own IFR plan. Remember, all ATC can click on an aircraft and see its flight plan.

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