Pilot's tip of the week

Getting ATC Advisories

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Subscriber question:

 "At every presentation by ATC (Wings, etc.), the FAA representative makes a huge point of encouraging VFR pilots to ask for flight following. After all, it is great if ATC has an idea of who's on their scope and their likely intentions. This sure makes sense to me. Why is it then that, when we contact ATC for flight following, we're often treated more as a pain in the ass than as the supposed beneficial participant that we are asked to be? Often we are refused service, ignored once squawked, and then dumped at the first available moment." - Jim M.

John Krug:

ATC Advisories“There are lots of factors that go into a Controller’s ability to provide service to VFR aircraft. Workload is first of course, IFR aircraft are a higher priority.

RADAR and radio coverage is also a factor. If you will exit the coverage area with no possibility of a handoff because you are at low altitude or in a remote area, the Controller must terminate radar service before losing contact with you.

Be professional, don’t tie up the frequency with extra verbiage. Don’t add to the controller’s workload.

If you feel that the service that you have received is not satisfactory, contact the Facility and ask to speak to a Supervisor or Quality Assurance Specialist.

Supervisors are required to provide periodic reviews of their employee’s performance on the job. An inquiry such as yours can be used as an opportunity to discuss the controller’s performance.”

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