MaxFacts: No “Flight Following” for Airliners (Trash Haulers)!


What Flight Following Is, And What It Isn’t

Radar air traffic control facilities, like IF ATC Approach & Departure can provide “VFR” aircraft with Radar Traffic Information Service . That’s “Flight Following’s” official name.You have to request it, and the controller provides it “if they have time”. The AIM is specific! “Following” is not offered to Airliners in the real World, they fly IFR. So why is it offered and always approved for Liners by ATC for IF! Let’s reduce the IF ATC work load and distractions. The Liner on long haul asking for Following to a destination 1000’s of Miles from departure is a regular and ridiculous occurrence and distraction repetitively.

I suggest we preclude “Following” for Trash Haulers, they serve no useful purpose. Get rid of this worthless VFR procedure for IFR Aircraft, give the Controller some breathing room. Let’s keep it real! What say you Community?.


Yes! Always hear this on expert all the time and Controllers almost never correct them! Huge pet peeve of mine.


I presume then that IFR airliners must request departure direction from the tower or app/dep controller but biz jets or GA can still ask for FF if they show a flight plan since they are still considered VFR

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@Recxx. MaxSez: “Presumptions”, nice one… I ASSume your fat Trash Hauler will routinely use a Straight Out Departure since there heavy on the Trainer and if Departure is available as per Expert check in for follow on guidance . ATIS on Expert routinely requires “Straight Out Departures” only. Until Flight Information Charts (Plates) are commonly utilized what you see is what you get. Bottom Line, No Following for dem big fat mothers.
Good to see you my old Friend, MaxSends


Fully agree here again Max, as always makes sense. However I think the issue is also on the ATC side, if they ask a pilot ‘for intentions ‘, there are only limited options that pilot can respond with. Either request an approach to a controlled airport or to request Flight Following. If planning to depart the


So if I depart from KLAX onward to Zurich, I don’t have to request flight to Zurich?

Check in.

That’s it.


Alright then

Wouldn’t this be slightly more useful if airliners had proper IFR clearances delivered?


Not because we all disagree with what Max says, but because it’s been decided that FF has a meaning which differs from RWA in IF (remember we don’t have C/D).

It may drive a few of us up a wall, but we can’t very well correct them if under the current structure, they’re using it correctly. Well, “correctly” in the sense that that’s what’s been decided FF is for IF, not because we all actually think it’s entirely in line with RWA.

It would, but C/D is not in our imminent future, I don’t think. One can hope, but I’m not betting the house on seeing it anytime soon. (Would so love to never see the flight plan WPT-EGLL ever again.)


Totally agree with you @Maxmustang! Will be following this from now on to make the ATC’s life a bit easier in heavy traffic… But as stated above by @David_Lockwood, it is kinda the ATC’s fault for “saying intentions.” I just think there should be a limit. Check in, and you’re good to go!

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I tell you about my experience, after tower hand you over or frequency changed approved…if you see approach, just check in, (tower limit 5000ft AGL) thats it…some approach controllers will ask you to frequency change approved after you are safely above their arrivals or you are leaving his limit. He can hand you over any time. Just carry on your flight after that.

If he hasn’t asked you to change frequency, becos he is too busy. don’t go around asking for frequency change. Simply tune out after 60nm or you are above 20000ft…its just ball park number, approach controls ends at 18000ft. No need to make issue.

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@David_Lockwood… MaxSez: “State Intentions” issued to an airline filed down line at an altitude above the terminal airports registered ceiling is an unrealistic challenge. To me it indicates the controller is not minding the store and checking for a flight strip indicating the aircraft is en-route his pos. The Pilots only option is to announce “Flying VFR” for Proceed direction. Flying VFR is not a following request. As is It is a waste of time requirement that could be corrected by a Pilot Friendly Comm menu which as been requested repeatedly. Or refined ATC situational awareness and attention to detail…
My take and I’m sticking to It.
Nice to see you Dave, Warm Regards, Max


@GatwickGuy, MaxSez: You Quote is counter to the rules and is poor airmanship. Wanna Free Flight don’t file just zoom around with the rest of the peanuts… No response; At a minimum send “Thank you” and tune out that clears the strip and your golden.
G’day, Max

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I dont wanna do free flight in approach sector! Im saying sometime you dont get frequency changed approved becos you are far off the map or the approach busy, assuming he forgot about you. don’t need to clutter his frequency, just tune out, you are departed his airspace no issues or poor airmanship… i see its good idea to say thank you and tune out…but it can gives impression you are being sarcastic :)

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I think part of the problem is that the rules for VFR/IFR in the the sim have way too much grey area. It would almost be better to have a vfr/ifr button (maybe call it a squawk code ;) ) that indicates the nature of the flight being conducted. Maybe it could change the color of the strip so controllers know. This way pilots (on the expert server) could be strictly held to all the rules and regulations of vfr or IFR.

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@GatwickGuy MaxSez. “Assume”! never in an airman’s vocabulary.
Good radio procedure requires a begin and end to every transmission.
Don’t wait for miles, close out your Comm Loop on departure of the departing airdromes Controller Airspace, The outer ring in IF.
I try not to be sarcastic, I retain a military mind set and communicate accordingly.
Warm Regards Pilot, Max


Nice flying @Maxmustang. Glad to control you at RJAA!

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While I am aware thank „Flight Following“ is not used for IFR traffic in real life, I am pretty sure that this is the agreed way to check in with Departure or Approach controllers on climb out in Infinite Flight.
If flight following is agreed to by the controller (which happens nearly always) you can proceed via your own departure routing staying clear of traffic if not given vectors by the controller.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but this is what I use and what works all the time on IF, especially with only Approach and no Departure ATC available on expert.

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The only option we have to respond with is “Proceed on course” or we can tell you to “Check tutorials on the forum”. We can’t “deny” your request, meaning there’s no response available to deny or cancel FF via our menu.