Question regarding FF + Departure frequency

If a pilot has a flight plan should the pilot be requesting FF or just check in if I’m Departure ATC?

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Here’s a good resource that answers this question and many more. Communication with ATC and Unicom diagram


That’s what I thought. What should be my response be, should this happen in the future?

If you are on TS, there is really nothing you can do since many pilots are still learning before they join expert.

What I would do is I would just tell them to proceed on course and let it slide or tell them to “check tutorials.” Now if this was on expert, we would have a problem. I’m not IFATC, but if I was IFATC for departure, I would immediately tell the pilot to “check tutorials.”

I think the departure frequency is just so ATC could vector you on course to your destination without disturbing the air traffic, especially in large and crowded airspace.

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Exactly what @BigBert10 said …

Its to give room with the incoming and provide spacing between aircrafts on departure

And if there isn’t any traffic at your airspace… you can clear him to tune to the destination frequency

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I would send a Frequency approved message instead of sending a tune into this Frequency message. Imagine I take off from KSFO and land at VHHH. If departure control was there and tells me to tune into VHHH Unicom, isn’t there a problem with that? The 2 airports are a whole ocean apart. @Luke_Around

Just tell them Frequency change approved and they can tune out of your frequency.

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@Nathan_Burton I did review the tutorial but still see higher grade pilots with a flight plan request FF while I’m Departure ATC on the training server. Being the rumor is most controllers on TS (Training Server) don’t know how to control, I just wanted to make sure I was providing the best customer service to my pilots as an ATC when told the pilot to check tutorials. 🙏

Grades do not define how well a pilot is. I’ve seen Grade 5s on EXPERT announce takeoff on Unicom and say “Remaining in the pattern” when their destination is across an ocean.

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You can do that as well… But by tuning to the frequency… The pilot can easily contact without Search for the frequency…(as of what ive experienced on expert server)

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Checking in is fine. For IF purposes FF is acceptable, although not “realistic,” for the people who want to pull that card.

Once you check in under a flight plan, controllers are essentially tracking you and will issue commands as necessary to steer you clear of traffic, in simple terms.


There are a few ATC groups that helps you become better at ATC… ATCEG, TSATC are a few…

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So as long as they take off with more than minimum separation and they have a flight plan I don’t have to vector unless there is a conflict?

But that would decrease the realism. On TS, this one time I was at KLAX on Unicom and then I heard someone calling inbound when they were over 3,000 miles away.

Remember, in real life it would be impossible to tune into a frequency that is too far away. IF strives for realism, so what you are saying is not correct.


I just feel like saying this…

A pilot wanting to fly vfr can have a flight plan there’s no problem. Now I know here in IF ts1 it’s morr because they don’t know the procedures but still. I think in real life even though you fly vfr you have to have some sort of a flight plan. Now I’m really not sure about that last part but anyway you get my point

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Yep… But also depends if you want the traffic to depart in a specific pattern… Or if you are aware of the airport SID’s you can vector them

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Omg I’m a novice ATC and I feel the same way @BigBert10

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  1. No, don’t send them to a Unicom 5000 miles away.

  2. If they check in, that’s all they need. (Roger/Radar Contact is sufficient for “just follow your flight plan.”)

  3. FF is VFR so commercial aircraft cruising at FL370 are not FF, but convincing the community of this is a lost cause, so just tell them to proceed on course

  4. FF or not, they’re still in your airspace until FL180, so always need to follow any vectors around traffic if they’re not gonna do it themselves. [For those of you wondering why you get a stay on my freq when you request chamge at 4k feet, this is why. You’re still in my airspace anf im responsible for that traffic.]


That’s literally what I just said…

We’d prefer check in for the reasons @Tim_B listed, but FF isn’t a particularly huge issue in terms of the kind of things we have to deal with, so for IF purposes only, we’ll still vector you as if you were IFR. Not enough poeple know how it works yet.

Yesss @JoshFly8… I agree. As I’m Departure I already see you on takeoff and just wait on you to check in (pilots with a flight plan) and if VFR a call in stating such. Am I wrong?