Checking in with Departure after Practice Low Approach


Jul 14, 2018
I had a discussion with my safety pilot after shooting several practice low approaches with Approach in VFR the other day. Got me thinking.

After the tower hands me back to Departure, I usually say something like "Socal Depature, Cessna 12345, 800 climing 2000". My safety pilot said she was trained to also give her current heading.

To me, heading seems to be more information that is required given that I already have a discrete code and am following previously given fly out instructions, unless I was unsure that I wrote down the fly-out insturctions incorrectly, then I'd include my heading just to double check. I imagine providing current heading doesn't hurt, but I try to follow less is more approach to communication, especially in busy airsapce.

What is the minimum information a departure controller needs from an VFR aircraft performing practice low approaches, after completing a PLA and being handed back to Departure, do you need my heading? Do you find it helpful? Or is my example from above satisfactory?