Today I made one more cross-country flight to Jacksonville Executive. Our route crossed a restricted area: when it is active, I cannot fly there in specified altitude range. That area can be active during specified hours, or by NOTAM. If it is active, I should avoid it or choose an altitude out of the area range.
During the briefing I found out that the area is inactive. The weather is good. Let’s fly!
It is the first time when I asked for flight following: ATC could see me on the radar and potentially warn about some close traffic or a potentially bad weather. The communications in that case are similar to any IFR flight, but it is still VFR, and you must be in VMC.
At about 10 miles before entering the restricted area I asked the controller about the area status, just in case. Everything was OK, and the controller gave me some additional information about adjacent areas.
Flight following is a very useful thing, especially because I don’t have neither TCAS nor ADS-B equipment, and traffic information can be useful in busy areas.
I also plan some flights with IFR flight plan in a good weather to maintain my communication skills and shoot some approaches. I have to be proficient in it before entering real IMC.