Have you ever wondered what Flight of “X” actually means or what it is used for? There seems to be some confusion about this phrase and how to properly use it while flying. I will also be posting a video tutorial showing the proper use of the phraseology.
“Flight of X” is used when there are multiple aircraft flying together in close proximity/formation. For example, if there are 3 aircraft in your flight, then each pilot would change their callsign to show “Flight of 3”. As part of this flight, ONLY the lead aircraft will be required to communicate with ATC/Unicom, not all of the aircraft in the flight. ATC will simply issue all commands to the lead aircraft and all the other aircraft will listen and follow. You do have the option of each aircraft communicating with ATC separately to have separation for takeoff and landing, but it would be best to either add to your callsign after takeoff and remove before contacting ATC for landing so the controller can plan accordingly. If every aircraft uses the phraseology, then coordinate with each other which will be the lead aircraft that will be communicating with ATC.
If you are flying solo and there are no other aircraft flying with you, then do not have it as part of your callsign. This can cause some confusion to the controller as they are expecting other aircraft to follow you. For the record, Flight of “X” does not mean the number of flights that you have made that day.
Feel free to post any questions that you may have. Hope this clears up what it means. Keep watch for the video tutorial soon.
Happy and Safe Landings!
FDS Pilot Community Manager