Questions regarding ATC

Some things seem uncertain to me, I just wanted to get some answers as the User Guide and ATC Guide could not help me:

1: What does departing straight out mean, and when to use it?

2: What is the difference between Check in and Flight Following (on Center, APP and DEP frequencies) and when to use each of them?

3: When descending to an airport you need to announce to the controller (CENTER, APP or DEP) which airport you are descending to. However, after a check in, how should I tell the controller which airport it is, knowing that a flight following must not follow a Check in

Thank you for your help!

This means pilots should not start turn until reach the ATL, it is usually used in parallel Runways Airport

Check in is IFR, FF is VFR. Check in is used for Requesting an IFR Radar Control Service from the FIRST Radar Controller the pilot contacts and Advising a Radar Controller that they are on your frequency AFTER BEING SWITCHED by a previous radar controller. FF request is used when you are flying VFR

You could request RV to the airport, RV is still VFR, Vis/RAIS/ILS are IFR approaches


Adding on to Chris’ answer for #3:

You don’t need to check in at all when you’re descending. If you are at cruise, request descent via your STAR or descent to a specific altitude if your flight plan doesn’t have altitudes. If you’re already descending, request the approach type you want.

Either way, checking in is an extra step that is not necessary while descending- we can see you’re on the frequency already!

Edit - you can check in with approach (and not request anything) if center has assigned you an approach type already. This is because on your aircraft strip the approach you’re assigned shows up to all controllers


Not gonna lie, this just educated me a little bit 💀😭.


For straight out departures:
If ATC tells you to depart straight out, you need to fly runway heading until you reach the given altitude and clear of any potential conflict with nearby aircraft.
Announcing a straight out departure generally means you are not performing turn immediately after takeoff.

Thank you all for your help!

But I wanted to know whether I should tell the controller which airport I want to descend to

Yes, as long as your destination is the final waypoint in your flight plan, your approach request will include the airport in it. If you’re requesting descent via a STAR, the controller can see your flight plan and which airport the STAR leads to

Great thanks!

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Thanks for posting this Q and A it was helpful.

RV is not a VFR service. Once you begin to receive vectors (heading/altitude) you’d be considered IFR, the controller would be required to ensure you maintain separation with other aircraft and terrain. Once you are handed to Tower though you would then be VFR.

You can check in with the next Radar controller, Center or Approach, if you have already requested descent via a STAR, even if you are already descending. The next controller will already know you are cleared to descend via the STAR.

Flight following is for VFR in Infinite Flight, it is not used to indicate that you’d like to follow your flight plan.

6.5.1 — Flight Following is a VFR service that can be requested by a pilot with or without a Flight Plan, therefore Controllers can expect pilots to “see and avoid”. Radar Controllers can acknowledge this request and if the pilot has a flight plan, they will be expected to continue following it.

You’d “Check in” to indicate you’d like to follow your flight plan.

You’d only check in. No flight following unless you are flying VFR.

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