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Whenever I've requested VFR flight following, I've always requested it from So Cal Approach/Departure because I'm usually flying within their reach. If I'm flying outside the reach of So Cal Approach (out in the desert), can I contact Los Angeles Center for VFR flight following? If I do this, the frequency for contacting Los Angeles Center doesn't seem to appear on the VFR charts, but is shown on IFR low charts.

Also, does the radar coverage of the various "Centers" cover all of the continental US, or are there remote areas where Center's radar and radio communication can't reach?

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Any US radar facility can (and will, workload and coverage permitting) provide VFR Flight Following, whether Approach/Departure or Center.

Look up the airport you are departing or, if already airborne, the nearest airport in your general direction of flight in your A/FD, EFB or (if you’re lucky) glass panel. The App/Dep lines will give you the frequency and name of the facility to call in that area.

The coverage problem is mostly an issue of altitude rather than range. Center radar and radio sites are further apart, so due to terrain and the curvature of the Earth, they may not be able to see/hear you if you’re too low. Typically 3,000 AGL is high enough, but if not, just keep climbing and try again in a few minutes.

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Centers regularly provide flight following for VFR aircraft, as an additional service. It's a bit different from Terminal flight following, however.

You can contact us using the low IFR chart frequency, or look up an approach plate near where you are flying for a frequency.

We will normally want your aircraft ID, type, equipment qualifier, and destination, so we can enter a flight plan. If you are doing a round robin, a photo mission, or a sightseeing flight, it's handy for us to have a general idea of your intentions, which we use for briefings, and, if necessary, search and rescue.

We will provide traffic advisories and alerts, advise you of any special use airspace, TFRs, etc, that you may encounter, and can provide information regarding radar displayed weather, etc.

We can vector you around such items, upon pilot request. We usually only initiate vectors for TFRs or traffic. If you want a vector around an SUA or weather, let us know. If a vector will put you into IFR conditions, you'll also need to let us know.

Centers, however, may not be able to provide services if you are below radar/ADSB coverage, or out of frequency range. Also, we can terminate the service at any time. (We usually don't, unless it's radar, frequency, or workload related)

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To answer you first question, yes you can call center. I have heard of people doing that before. However center is generally for IFR aircraft so it may not always be the best idea. I also checked the Pilot/Controller Glossary and it backs that up. It says "AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER− A facility established to provide air traffic control service to aircraft operating on IFR flight plans within controlled airspace and principally during the en route phase of flight. When equipment capabilities and controller workload permit, certain advisory/as- sistance services may be provided to VFR aircraft. (See EN ROUTE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SERVICES.) (Refer to AIM.)"

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  • $\begingroup$ VFR flight following is considered an "Additional Service in an ARTCC. These services are provided on a workload basis. The controller is obligated to provide them if workload permits. This means that if the controller CAN provide the service, they SHALL provide the service. $\endgroup$ – atc_ceedee May 9 at 20:10
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I have never called up Center for Flight Following, but I have certainly been passed to Center for Flight Following. I would imagine if they "accept" you from a Departure controller, then they would accept you from a radio call. That being said, like all things related to Flight Following, it is controller workload permitted.

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