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LAdamson

What is flight following?

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This one is for the real world pilots out there.What is flight following exactly? How is it used in RW flying? When can you request flight following in the RW? I'm just curious how realistic is the flight following function in FS2K2.Thanks for any info,m.jpg"A girl and her plane...It's a beautiful thing."

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I'm not a real pilot, but I think I can still answer your question. Just take everything I say with a heavy dose of a grain of salt.Flight following means you contact a "center" for the region you're in where an air traffic controller will get you on radar and then help guide you towards your destination, whether that's your final destination airport, or a handoff to the next center. S/he will advise you of traffic and terrain and generally keep you company thru that particular leg of your flight, given that s/he isn't too busy. From what I understand it's pretty realistic in 2K2, except that center will never say "no" to your request, and a few other glitches like the range at which they can stay in contact with you.Now, it's entirely possible that everything I've just said is a lie, but I'm fairly certain that there's at least a little truth in there. ;-)

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Flight following (FF) is a VFR feature where you call up ATC and ask them to watch you on their radar. They will give you a squawk code and tell you of other traffic in your area. They won't give you IFR separation so you are required to remain VFR and watch for traffic. It is very similar to what FS2002 does.The primary advantage for FF is as an extra insurance measure. Someones watching out for you. If something goes wrong, they are a call away. Planes are sometimes VERY hard to see in real life and those extra pair of eyes can make all the difference.ATC is not required to provide FF and will deny it if they are overloaded. They may terminate it any time if they get busy as well.

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You can request flight following from ATC. Whether they will or not, depends on their workload, since it's a non- IFR flight. They'll keep track of you with a transponder code from your aircraft, and give alerts as to positions of other aircraft in the vicinity, etc. Out here in the Rocky Mtn. area, flight following will depend on your altitude, as radar coverage won't extend to all areas due to terrain interference. As to FS2002, I've never tried it.L.Adamson

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