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Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?  
User currently offlinecallegro From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 18 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7279 times:

Hi Guys,

This topic has probably come up before. What is the correct protocol for using Heavy after the callsign? I know it is used in the USA, but not usually when on the "center" frequencies. What about Canada, Europe, etc??

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineshamrock137 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7249 times:

Its used for aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of over 300,000 lbs. Its mostly to give pilots a heads up, "hey this is a big aircraft, expect big wake turbulence." An exception is the 757, which is less than 300,000 lbs gross takeoff weight. During testing it was discovered that the aircraft makes a large wake turbulence, so heavy was added to the callsign. However, 757's with winglets do not use the callsign heave I believe.

As far as when to use the designation, in the US its normally used on gnd, twr, appch and dep. These are the phases of flight when the size and wake of an aircraft have the most impact on other aircraft. In Canada its used with the first radio contact.



Time to spare? Go by air!
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17108 posts, RR: 66
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7245 times:

Note that "Heavy" is used regardless of whether the take-off weight on a particular flight is over the limit or not. It is based on maximum certified take-off weight.

Quoting shamrock137 (Reply 1):
Its used for aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of over 300,000 lbs.

In EASA rules defined as 136,000 kg, which is just a touch under 300,000 lb.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinecallegro From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7228 times:

Yep I knew the definition of a "Heavy" just wanted to know when its used in conjuction with the callsign. Also I believe the only 757 that uses the "Heavy" callsign, is the 757-300, regardless if it has winglets or not.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17108 posts, RR: 66
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7225 times:

Quoting callegro (Reply 3):
Yep I knew the definition of a "Heavy" just wanted to know when its used in conjuction with the callsign. Also I believe the only 757 that uses the "Heavy" callsign, is the 757-300, regardless if it has winglets or not.

In EASA, "Heavy" is used in the initial call to tower or approach.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineCaptCufflinks From UK - England, joined Dec 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7019 times:

Quoting callegro (Thread starter):
I know it is used in the USA, but not usually when on the "center" frequencies. What about Canada, Europe, etc??

Only ever in the terminal environment, never on the enroute frequencies. This applies to EASA (see below), I also know it applies to Canada.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 4):
In EASA, "Heavy" is used in the initial call to tower or approach.


User currently offlinewagz From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 516 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6971 times:
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Quoting callegro (Reply 3):
Yep I knew the definition of a "Heavy" just wanted to know when its used in conjuction with the callsign. Also I believe the only 757 that uses the "Heavy" callsign, is the 757-300, regardless if it has winglets or not.

In the US at least, no 757s regardless of type or winglets is a heavy. It's a common misconception. 757s instead have their own wake turbulence class and separation requirements, but heavy is never appended to the callsign.

Note: a couple years back there was an issue briefly when the Heavy rule encompassed any aircraft over 255,000 lbs and certain airlines' 757s had 256k or 257k TO weights. It was annoying because apparently dispatchers were unable to file as a heavy though. It turned in to a guessing game how much separation we needed for each 757. Luckily the definition was altered to leave all 757s back in their own wake category.



I think Big Foot is blurry, Its not the photographers fault. Theres a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6969 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 2):
Note that "Heavy" is used regardless of whether the take-off weight on a particular flight is over the limit or not. It is based on maximum certified take-off weight.


Correct, and the weight is 300,000 lbs or greater.

Quoting shamrock137 (Reply 1):
However, 757's with winglets do not use the callsign heave I believe


The winglets have nothing to do with it being "Heavy" or not, the only case it would matter is IF the weight of them were to put the aircraft into the 300,000 lbs or more category.

Quoting callegro (Reply 3):
Also I believe the only 757 that uses the "Heavy" callsign, is the 757-300, regardless if it has winglets or not.


A few years ago in the U.S. a B753 and some of the B752's were in a "Heavy" category, but the weight was at that time 255,000 lbs or more and it became very confusing for separation standards. So the FAA (finally made it simple) and decided to up the weight to 300,000 lbs as it was long ago and that put all B752 and B753 back into the large category, but with the increased separation required.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2637 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 6917 times:

Quoting CaptCufflinks (Reply 5):
Only ever in the terminal environment, never on the enroute frequencies. This applies to EASA (see below), I also know it applies to Canada.

Last i checked, enroute frequencies use Heavy as well here in Canada. Basically, everyone does.

Thenoflyzone



us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21791 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6819 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 8):
Last i checked, enroute frequencies use Heavy as well here in Canada. Basically, everyone does.

The US, however, does not. You'll hear it sometimes from the pilots, but generally not from the controllers.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineCaptCufflinks From UK - England, joined Dec 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6783 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 8):

Last i checked, enroute frequencies use Heavy as well here in Canada. Basically, everyone does.

Is that a recent thing?

Certainly wasn't the case (or it wasn't being used) when I visited CZQM CTR a few years back with a friend who was going through NCTI.


User currently offlineKAUSpilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1959 posts, RR: 32
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6772 times:

ICAO document 4444 states that pilots flying aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 136,000 kg or more should follow their callsign with the word "heavy" on initial contact with any ATS facility.

So, to be technically correct, you should use it on initial callup to any center/approach/tower control anywhere on the planet. No one seems to do it the Far East where 80% of the aircraft flying around are heavy. In the US obviously it is used continuously by approach, tower, gorund, and clearance controllers (not just on initial contact). Speaking as someone who has flown over most countries on the planet, the Canadians are honestly the only center controllers I can think of who use the heavy suffix as part of your callsign, even if you don't use it yourself as the pilot.

"4.9.2 Indication of heavy wake turbulence category
For aircraft in the heavy wake turbulence category the word “Heavy” shall be included immediately after the aircraft call sign in the initial radiotelephony contact between such aircraft and ATS units."


User currently offlinenipoel123 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2011, 271 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6528 times:

Yep, that's how I've understood it. A typical conversation would be something like:

KLM695 (747-400): Schiphol Tower, KLM695 Heavy, ready for departure
TWR: KLM695 Heavy, hello, line up and wait runway 24
KLM695: Line up and wait runway 24, KLM695
...
TWR: KLM695 winds 240/15, runway 24 cleared for takeoff
KLM695: Runway 24 cleared for takeoff, KLM695
...
KLM695: Schiphol approach, hello, KLM695 Heavy climbing through 3000 feet
APP: KLM695 Heavy, hello, climb to FL140
KLM695: Climb to FL140, KLM695

And so on...

But I have to add that, when listening to ATC, I don't always hear Heavy being used, even on the initial call. Then again, with flightplans and -strips, ATC has their own ways to check the aircraft type.



one mile of road leads to nowhere, one mile of runway leads to anywhere
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6456 times:

Quoting nipoel123 (Reply 12):
Then again, with flightplans and -strips, ATC has their own ways to check the aircraft type.

Let's just say ATC doesn't have flight plans or strips, then what?   



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17108 posts, RR: 66
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6445 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 13):
Quoting nipoel123 (Reply 12):
Then again, with flightplans and -strips, ATC has their own ways to check the aircraft type.

Let's just say ATC doesn't have flight plans or strips, then what?   

I'll assume you mean if the computer wizardry breaks down for some reason? In that case I think ATC comms becomes much more formal, and slower.

The reason there are so many "slang" terms and shortcuts is because all parties are clear and understood. If that doesn't happen, you have to actually use the formal communication rules all the time.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6434 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 14):
I'll assume you mean if the computer wizardry breaks down for some reason?


Actually no, if the software craps out then yes things will be stopped while anything in the air lands or exits the airspace. Once that's all cleaned up the trickle of airplanes will start as you mention until the problem has been identified and fixed.

The reference used was "flight plans and strips" to identify if the airplane should be using "Heavy" in communication. Since a large number of U.S. ATC facilities do not see the actual flight plan unless they are issuing the clearances and many don't even use flight strips at all they'd have no way to know other than what was on the display showing the aircraft type, ie., B788 H, with the "H" at the end of the data block.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineshamrock137 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6187 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 7):


The winglets have nothing to do with it being "Heavy" or not, the only case it would matter is IF the weight of them were to put the aircraft into the 300,000 lbs or more category.

Not quite... The 757 is under the 300,000 lb category, regardless if winglets or not, However, the winglets change the shape of the wing, and the wake turbulence characteristics. This means this aircraft needs different separation, with the "heavy" designation or not. While "heavy" does refer to the weight, you have to remember the usage is more to give controllers and other pilots a heads up that they should expect a large amount of wake turbulence from this aircraft.

[Edited 2013-05-14 22:46:20]


Time to spare? Go by air!
User currently offlinePITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3235 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6166 times:

Quoting KAUSpilot (Reply 11):
ICAO document 4444 states that pilots flying aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 136,000 kg or more should follow their callsign with the word "heavy" on initial contact with any ATS facility.

  

While it is seldom done in the US, "heavy" aircraft should be stating such on initial contact with each new ARTCC contacted.

In Canada, "heavy" is used with every transmission by the center controllers.



FLYi
User currently offlineglen From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 225 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6135 times:

Quoting PITrules (Reply 17):
While it is seldom done in the US,"

U.S. rules are slightly different from ICAO rules:

Pilots of heavy aircraft should always use the word "HEAVY" in all communication in the terminal
environment. In the en-route environment, "HEAVY" is used in all communication with
• a terminal facility
• if the en-route center is providing an approach control service
• if the separation from a following aircraft may become less than 5NM by an approved procedure
• when issuing traffic advisories

[Edited 2013-05-15 02:05:09]


"The horizon of many people is a circle with zero radius which they call their point of view." - Albert Einstein
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6078 times:

Quoting shamrock137 (Reply 16):
Not quite... The 757 is under the 300,000 lb category, regardless if winglets or not, However, the winglets change the shape of the wing, and the wake turbulence characteristics. This means this aircraft needs different separation, with the "heavy" designation or not.


The point was the 757 is not in the "Heavy" weight category and the only way it would be is IF the weight of the winglets put the MTOW at 300,000 lbs or more. However; no 757 is in that weight category and the airplane has had it's own separation standard for aircraft following them for quite some time after a couple of accidents happened with the trailing aircraft in the mid 80's,IIRC the time line.

Quoting shamrock137 (Reply 16):
However, the winglets change the shape of the wing, and the wake turbulence characteristics. This means this aircraft needs different separation, with the "heavy" designation or not.


The added separation for a 757 was added long before any of them started getting winglets, and while I agree the winglet changes the flow of air in this case the increased separation standard had already been in place.

Quoting shamrock137 (Reply 16):
While "heavy" does refer to the weight, you have to remember the usage is more to give controllers and other pilots a heads up that they should expect a large amount of wake turbulence from this aircraft.


As a retired air traffic controller in the terminal arena I've used "Heavy" in every transmission to any aircraft that fit into the weight classification for a number of years, and you are correct in your assessment of the word being to alert everyone. In fact I''ve known a couple of controllers who were given an error due the the fact they didn't include the word "Heavy" when issuing a visual approach clearance to the following aircraft.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineshamrock137 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6008 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 19):

As a retired air traffic controller in the terminal arena I've used "Heavy" in every transmission to any aircraft that fit into the weight classification for a number of years, and you are correct in your assessment of the word being to alert everyone. In fact I''ve known a couple of controllers who were given an error due the the fact they didn't include the word "Heavy" when issuing a visual approach clearance to the following aircraft.

Haha think we might have misunderstood each other, seems like I was trying to say the same thing in a different way. Thanks for the perspective of a controller! Very interesting stuff in this thread.



Time to spare? Go by air!
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2254 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5708 times:

Quoting shamrock137 (Reply 1):
Its used for aircraft with a gross takeoff weight of over 300,000 lbs.

Add the phrase "Capable of", "300,000 lds or greater" and you've nailed it. Actual takeoff weight is irrelevant. It's a Heavy if the the aircraft is "capable" of 300k or greater.

Hey IAH, how many times have we seen this one in the last 5 years?



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5679 times:

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 21):
Hey IAH, how many times have we seen this one in the last 5 years?

My guess is more years than you and I put in together!

What is up my friend?  



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2254 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5442 times:

Traveling and enjoying the ride. More of the gang joining the "Has Been" ranks everyday, with smiles on their faces.


I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 24, posted (1 year 6 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5257 times:

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 23):



I'm not doing as much traveling yet, that will come next year. So far it's just more golf and enjoying the same ride as you. And some think I'll come back...NOT



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
25 WingedMigrator : Isn't there also a 'super' above 1.2 million lbs?
26 Post contains links IAHFLYR : The A388 is in fact "Super" but I cannot find nor remember that it has a specific number associated with it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_turbul
27 TrnsWrld : Just to give a little more info from an enroute controllers stand point. Even though its not a rule to use it, its actually used VERY often here in my
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