VFR cancel flight following to avoid following a vector

170tovocus

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I was following an interesting exchange over on reddit ATC about whether a VFR pilot in Echo airspace is allowed to cancel flight following if he receives a vector that he doesn't want to comply with. Curious if anyone here has any thoughts.

Basically, Controller A says that if a VFR requests flight following, he can vector them as needed to stay clear of traffic, and the pilot has to comply (except in an emergency or inability to maintain VFR conditions). And once he's issued control instructions, the VFR pilot is not allowed to terminate flight following without the controller's permission. For this he cites 91.123:

(b) Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.



as well as a clarification letter from the FAA:

Controller B says that it's a moot point, since the book doesn't allow us to vector VFRs in Class E airspace without their request/consent, and cites a few passages including:

2−1−21. TRAFFIC ADVISORIES 6. When requested by the pilot, issue radar vectors to assist in avoiding the traffic...



and

7−6−1. APPLICATION a. Basic radar services for VFR aircraft must include: 3. Limited radar vectoring when requested by the pilot.



saying that since there's no separation reqs in E airspace and we can't vector them without their consent, we can't force them to continue FF if they want to cancel.

Any opinions one way or the other? Seemed interesting to me, and I'm curious to hear what the ultimate resolution is.
 

Nfingers

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If they cancel flight following why do you care? They're no longer your responsibility for separation. In a instance of traffic, if you're talking to both aircraft you then move the 2nd aircraft and let the first cancel, obviously tell him what's out there and try to help, but cut him loose. If you're only talking to one and he wants to cancel due to a vector or whatever same thing applies imo. Give him whatever info you can and then cancel. Easier for you anyways.
 

MJ

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They did request it initially. the interpretation is pretty clear. Pilot can't pick and choose services when it's convenient. It would lead to something like..
ATC: Maintain 5500' traffic 5000'
Pilot: cancel flight following (descends through 5). We'll resume FF
ATC: turn right....
Pilot: cancel FF (goes through final). We'll resume FF

That's obviously not the intent of the .65 paragraphs cited. If they are in contact with ATC compliance is mandatory, until ATC deems necessary. If they NEVER got FF and were just flying around on 1200 code the whole time, that's when those para's would apply.

A pilot flying VFR in Class E airspace, which is controlled airspace, is not required to communicate with ATC; however, if a pilot is communicating with ATC and ATC issues an instruction, the pilot must comply with that instruction.
PS: Yey for using the phraseology text format, I think you're the first! :) I'll have to fix up that overflow.
 

170tovocus

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PS: Yey for using the phraseology text format, I think you're the first! :) I'll have to fix up that overflow.
Haha, I saw the little airplane icon and figured what the hell. Nice job slipping that little easter egg in there. Pretty slick MJ. :)
 

GulfBravoPapa

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If you request air traffic services you must comply with said air traffic services. If you want to cancel go ahead, but don't call me back in five miles or I will say unable.

I saw another interesting thread on the /flying forum about VFR aircraft doing practice approaches that requires a Bravo. Does executing a landing and coming back for a second approach allow them to keep the Bravo? I think no way. The pilots seemed to think yes.
 

spider

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I've always been under the impression that you can issue a vector or an altitude to a VFR but not both at the same time.
 

spider

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completely different topic
The OP specifically said:

"Controller B says that it's a moot point, since the book doesn't allow us to vector VFRs in Class E airspace without their request/consent, and cites a few passages including: "
 

Maintainvfr

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I've always been under the impression that you can issue a vector or an altitude to a VFR but not both at the same time.
The OP specifically said:

"Controller B says that it's a moot point, since the book doesn't allow us to vector VFRs in Class E airspace without their request/consent, and cites a few passages including: "
I'm not seeing how the quote is connecting to your vector+altitude comment
 

170tovocus

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I saw another interesting thread on the /flying forum about VFR aircraft doing practice approaches that requires a Bravo. Does executing a landing and coming back for a second approach allow them to keep the Bravo? I think no way. The pilots seemed to think yes.
That is interesting. Without any context, my initial thought would be yes... maybe? If an aircraft has a bravo clearance and his route of flight takes him JUST outside before reentering, then he still has that clearance, yeah? I can imagine places where it would be almost impossible to start a missed approach without going back into the Bravo, so maybe that’s where I’m coming from. Hard to say.
 

Nfingers

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To prevent a collision
Do you also reach out on guard when you see two vfr targets close to each other? It's the same premise. If they cancel because they dont want a vector then I cannot provide services.
 

Dolan

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Do you also reach out on guard when you see two vfr targets close to each other? It's the same premise. If they cancel because they dont want a vector then I cannot provide services.
And they're in my airspace? Going to legit occupy the same space at the same time? I issue traffic in the blind one hundred times out of one hundred. You don't?
 

170tovocus

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And they're in my airspace? Going to legit occupy the same space at the same time? I issue traffic in the blind one hundred times out of one hundred. You don't?
I actually can’t say that I’ve ever had enough time to watch two untracked targets come together like you’re describing. My scan just isn’t set up to pay attention to things like that. But you’re not wrong, if I saw something like that impending, I’d of course do whatever I could to prevent it, even though that realistically isn’t much.
 

Nfingers

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I actually can’t say that I’ve ever had enough time to watch two untracked targets come together like you’re describing. My scan just isn’t set up to pay attention to things like that. But you’re not wrong, if I saw something like that impending, I’d of course do whatever I could to prevent it, even though that realistically isn’t much.
This is my problem. I dont have the time. If I would notice it? Maybe? But theres no way I have the time to do that.

More realistically is that it happens so frequently it would be IMPOSSIBLE to keep up. (Central Florida training practice. Everyone goes to the same area to train and I swear are trying to hit each other)
 

ehmeye

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Not true...

5.6.1

NOTE−
VFR aircraft not at an altitude assigned by ATC may be vectored at any altitude. It is the responsibility of the pilot to comply with the applicable parts of CFR Title 14
All that note means is that you are permitted to vector VFR aircraft beneath the MVA as long as you haven't assigned them an altitude under the MVA. You are permitted to assign an altitude and vector, but it has to be legal for obstruction clearance.
 

Josephml21

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All that note means is that you are permitted to vector VFR aircraft beneath the MVA as long as you haven't assigned them an altitude under the MVA. You are permitted to assign an altitude and vector, but it has to be legal for obstruction clearance.
And I'm just sayin you can vector vfr acft below a mva so long as you haven't assigned an altitude
 
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