ATC calls me out as a radar contact after request and ack for flight following

Do you have any add-ons in your Community folder? If yes, please remove and retest before posting.

Are you using Developer Mode or made changes in it?

Brief description of the issue:
Easy to repro. I’m configured for Live. I tune in a local airport, request flight following,
ack the following and set the squawk code, then, 2 seconds later, ATC announces a
radar contact, describing MY position, asking me to ack it… Seems like a bug.

Not sure why this is a bug. When a pilot asks for flight following, they are requesting that ATC track the aircraft and provide any potential traffic conflicts. ATC has to know which blip on their radar screen is your aircraft. They give you a “squawk code” that the pilot has to dial into the aircraft’s transponder. The transponder is a specific type of radio that broadcasts the squawk code dialed into. When the transponder “hears” a radar ping, it replies with the squawk code. If the transponder is turned off or broken, no squawk code is sent back to the radar.

When ATC “sees” your squawk code, it gives you positive confirmation that ATC sees you and can provide you with flight following. The pilot acknowledges back to ATC that they have the right information about you. If ATC says that they see you at 20,000 ft but you are at 5,000 ft, then the pilot has to correct ATC. If ATC cannot see your squawk code, they will ask you to reset the transponder which means the pilot turns the transponder off then on.

Sometimes when the airspace is filled with lots of traffic, ATC may have difficulty finding your aircraft. ATC will ask you to IDENT which is a switch or button on the transponder. When the IDENT button is used, the signal to the radar causes your aircraft and squawk code to be highlighted temporarily on the radar screen. IDENT should never be used unless directed to by ATC.

Finally, certain squawk codes have specific meanings. For example “1200” in the US is a default code used by all VFR aircraft not using flight following. Other squawk codes for Emergency, Hijacking, or Radio Failure are not implemented in MSFS.

Confirming ATC contact is not a bug. MSFS is using correct communications protocol.

1 Like

As far as I know, this is procedure. ATC needs to confirm that the aircraft they see on the radar is you.

Thank you for the clarification.

1 Like