Nycfuturepilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 791 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5292 times:
Heavy means that they're referring to has a powerful wake vortex (it can make a lot of wake turbulance) so this alerts controlers that they need to maintain a high level of separation. A heavy has a takeoff weight more than 255,000 lb. Minimnum separation between a heavy and a small plane is 4 miles. The 757 is less than the 255000 lb heavy limit but it has a powerful wake vortext so it has similar separation requirement.
Raybolt From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 255 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5292 times:
It's used for a/c with an MTOW of over 255,000 lbs (im pretty sure that is the number). It has nothing to do with the aircraft id (i.e. A320) or widebody/narrowbody. The B752 is classified as 'heavy' in transmissions because of its wake vortices, even though it's weight is not over the 255.
Law4fun From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 135 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5292 times:
Not just widebodies...deals with takeoff weight I believe. DC-8-60 and 70 series and 707-300 series were also designated as "Heavy". OTOH, 757 does not usually get the designation at a lot of ATC centers. Have a listen to JFK approach and departure ATC with a flytecomm printout of arrivals to get the full feel for heavy designations.
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5288 times:
Here in the USA, it is used to be to signify any aircraft with a max takeoff weight of 300,000 lbs. or more since these type aircraft were more prone to generating more pronounced wake vortex turbulence to aircraft that followed them. After many years, the figure was later revised to 255,000 lbs. Some 757s are above 255,000 and qualify, but some are below 255,000, and while they don't technically qualify as heavies, they are treated as if they were by ATC. This entails ATC increasing the spacing between all "heavies" (or the 757s being treated as such) and other aircraft operating after them to allow more time for wake vortices to dissipate.
From the AIM...
AIRCRAFT CLASSES- For the purposes of Wake Turbulence Separation Minima, ATC classifies aircraft as Heavy, Large, and Small as follows:
a. Heavy- Aircraft capable of takeoff weights of more than 255,000 pounds whether or not they are operating at this weight during a particular phase of flight.
b. Large- Aircraft of more than 41,000 pounds, maximum certificated takeoff weight, up to 255,000 pounds.
c. Small- Aircraft of 41,000 pounds or less maximum certificated takeoff weight.
There have been several threads on this in the past...
Modesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2794 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5101 times:
It's important to note that the 757-200 generally does not carry a "heavy" designation in radio transmissions. However, controllers always treat it as a "heavy" in separation.
There is a distinction!
Additionally, some 757-200 operators such as DL and UA do NOT operate their aircraft above 255,000. Conversely, some operators, such as ATA, operate high-density 757-200s above 255,000. Therefore, ATA 757-200s may receive this designation. Finally, 757-300 are all above 255,000. There's no confusion with that aircraft.
FinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4555 times:
Fighter aircrafts are also treated like heavies if operating from commercial airports. Those have very strong vortex effects due their wing design. Of course they don't use term "heavy" after callsign... would be quite funny.
Lt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4446 times:
in the E-3 we always preface tower calls with 'Heavy' especially at random airports where we might do transition. usually with center we do not say heavy, Just 'Sentry xx' (for the front end) but 'Heavy' slips sometimes
300,000 would still keep the E-3 a heavy in almost every single instance. The E-8 and RJ I am not sure of.
Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Uncle Sam's AWAX, The best shine for your jet
RareBear From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 553 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4394 times:
Here at CHS we have a significant volume of C-17, C5, KC-10 and 747 traffic, and the term "heavy" is appended to the callsign of virtually every one of them, even though the tower and the center is familiar with the various callsigns of the squadrons involved. A Tower Air 757 came in several weeks ago, and it used the callsign "Tower 91 heavy" to remind the tower that it required the same separation criteria as a true "heavy".