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VFR free flight

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Perch8808
Post subject: VFR free flight
Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2024 9:28 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2023 4:58 am
Location: British Columbia, CA
 
The flight seems to go well until "cleared enroute frequencies squawk 7000" from departure after which I try 1 enroute frequency but no selection menu is present and remote text suggests another frequency, so I try another frequency and get a destination ATIS but thats about it. I have much better luck with IFR flight plans and almost no luck with VFR flight plans. Any tips?

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Dave March
Post subject: Re: VFR free flight
Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2024 8:25 am
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Location: Sawtry, Cambridgeshire. UK
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Does this not help?
Quote:
8.20 VFR Flights in PF3
VFR flight support has been completely revamped in this version (3.10) of PF3 and we now offer two distinctly different types of VFR in the PF3 world.

8.20.1 Standard VFR
The normal (we call Standard) VFR flight where you are required to load and follow a flightplan, flying from one waypoint to the next until finally reaching your destination is much the same as it was in previous versions of PF3. The main difference is the introduction or our new Radar Control facilities. Each of the PF3 Control Center areas now have a Radar Control facility to cover that same area when you're flying below the Control Centers altitude. The new Radar Controls are also named, the same as the existing Control Centers. So for instance, you can contact London Radar, Essex Radar, Berlin Radar, Los Angeles Radar, Miami Radar or any of the 90 new control facilities.
In previous versions of PF3 Departure would hand you off to Approach, and you would stay with them for the duration of your flight. In 3.10 Departure will hand you off to the appropriate Radar Control. They in turn will hand you off to the next Radar Control should your flight plan take you into another control area. This will continue until you reach you last waypoint, at which time Radar will hand you off to Approach.

8.20.2 VFR Free Flight
VFR Free Flight (or VFR FF) has been introduced for users to take full advantage of the glorious visuals in the new and outstanding MSFS whilst still being able to contact ATC as and when necessary. Of course this isn't only for use with MSFS and VFR FF flights can be used in all flight simulators supported by PF3.
So what is VFR FF exactly. Well, just like any other flight in PF3 you still have to load a flight plan (containing at least one waypoint) but you will not be required to follow it. You will not have to hit each waypoint and you will only be expected to reach your destination. How you get there is entirely up to you. You will not be handed off from one Radar Control to another if you venture into other control areas, instead the radar service will be terminated and it will be up to you if you wish to make contact with the next control facility. The areas you fly through do not have to be areas in which your flight plan would normally take you... it can be anywhere along the way and PF3 will detect within which area you are currently flying.
Departure control will terminate their service after your departure with the following call:-

Call sign, radar service terminated, squawk nnnn

At this point you can either continue your flight without further ATC contact until you arrive at your destination or you may choose to contact the local Radar Control for flight following or radar service (depending on the area you're flying i.e. FAA or ICAO). If you don't know the frequency to tune to simply tune to the default FSS frequency of 122.20 and hit Hotkey #5 to request it. Then you can tune to it and make contact with the local Radar Control. You'll remain with that Radar Control whilst you remain in their area, but once you fly beyond that they will terminate their service in the same way as Departure did and again it will be up to you what you do at that point.
When you get close to your destination you have a couple of options. If you're already in touch with Radar Control then you simply have to hit Hotkey #1 which will trigger a handoff to Approach. If you're not currently tuned to Radar Control then you can follow the instructions mentioned earlier to obtain the correct frequency. In both cases you can also choose to tune directly to Approach and contact them to advise of your landing intentions.
The correct Approach frequency can be found quite easily if you're using our PF3 Display utility or better still the WEB Display utility, otherwise you would be best to contact Radar Control and then hit Hotkey #1 to trigger the handoff.

In Summary
You should contact Approach when you near the destination airport, whether or not you have been getting enroute flight-following services. Once you are in contact with Approach, you will be asked to report when you have the airport in sight (Hotkey 8). When you report the field in sight, if the airport is controlled, you will be handed to Tower (VCP should tune the frequency) and Tower will tell you to report entering the pattern for the active runway (Hotkeys 2, 3, 4). After landing you will be told to contact Ground.
If the destination airport is uncontrolled, when you report the field in sight, Approach will terminate services and tell you to switch to advisory frequency (i.e., Unicom). In PF3 the use of an advisory frequency is optional. You can simply land on the runway of your choice and taxi at your discretion, or you can look up the Unicom frequency for the airport and manually tune it and use the hotkeys to announce your intentions to local traffic.
Whilst it may sound a little complicated, it really isn't. The whole idea of VFR FF is to allow you to fly wherever you want and explore the area, then, when you eventually decide you want to land you only have to hit a couple of keys to be handed off to Approach.

Please note: As of version 3.10.50 VFR flight procedures, when flying in the US (FAA regions), has been changed as we've been informed that 'Radar Control' or a 'Named Radar Control' is not correct for the US and you would normally be in contact with Tracon (Departure/Approach).
However, since this issue has not been raised before I have decided NOT to make these changes the default nor are they obligatory. There is a new option now on the Advanced Options and Tweaks page, under the MISC tab, named 'No Radar Control in US'. If you select this option you will no longer be able to contact or be handed off to our (new to 3.10) Radar Control facilities. Instead you will be in contact with various Approach facilities during your VFR flight. When nearing your destination, or during a VFR FF flight when you use Hotkey #1, you will be handed off to Approach on a different frequency in readiness for landing. If you don't select this option then your VFR flights will continue as they do now and PF3 will use the 'Named' Radar Control facilities as it does now for both CAA and FAA regions.

_________________

Cheers

Dave March

Email: dmarch@oncourse-software.co.uk

I don't know if my memory is getting worse as I get older...
...I just can't remember how it used to be!

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Perch8808
Post subject: Re: VFR free flight
Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2024 5:42 am
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Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2023 4:58 am
Location: British Columbia, CA
 
Thanks Dave.


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