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(U.S.) 14 CFR 91.123 (b) states:

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.

FAR 91.123(b) was written for a reason and it has likely been violated before (on purpose or by accident).

The question specifically:

Is a pilot receiving ATC VFR service (e.g. traffic advisories/flight following) subject to 91.123 (b) when operating in class G airspace (uncontrolled) or does this regulation only apply in controlled airspace? (considering the wording of the regulation [in pertinent part]: in an area in which air traffic control is exercised

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    $\begingroup$ I would almost think the answer is in the question. Class G is uncontrolled and flight following is in advisory, not mandatory, capacity. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 20:12
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think you get any control service (as in ATC) in a class G airspace. You get two services which are flight information (because you're in a FIR, exceptions are the No FIR areas) and SAR. See Classes from ICAO. So you can't act contrary to control instructions. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with the above comments, and given the info in your bio I presumed you would answer your own question to enlighten us all! Is there a particular reason why you are asking? Can you think of a scenario where a "controller" might provide an advisory in class G airspace and the pilot would assert him/herself and defy ATC? Because I can't, and therefore don't think the question is particularly useful, interesting, or potentially informative... $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 22:48
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall Good comment. I can't think of a reason why a VFR pilot in Class E airspace (controlled airspace), for example, would defy a controller's instructions when receiving advisories/flight following. But, nevertheless 91.123 (b) was published for a reason. I thought the question would provide some interesting insight as to how pilots view their responsibilities and ATC's authority while VFR in class G airspace (controlled vs. uncontrolled airspace). $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall I have reworded the question somewhat based on your comment. Thanks $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 23:27

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In class G you are not under Air Traffic Control and therefor you don't receive instructions. You may be receiving an Air Traffic Information Service and they will provide you with advisories.

Advisories are not covered by 91.123, and thus within class G airspace 91.123 does not apply.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are there any sources that you can link? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 0:23

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