callegro
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:15 am

Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 2:50 am

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??
 
shamrock137
Posts: 228
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:10 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 4:07 am

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 avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17117
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 4:13 am

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." - John Ringo
 
callegro
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:15 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 4:42 am

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 avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17117
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 4:52 am

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." - John Ringo
 
CaptCufflinks
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:24 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 12:00 pm

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.
 
wagz
Posts: 462
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 12:48 pm

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 1:11 pm

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
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 1:16 pm

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.
 
Thenoflyzone
Posts: 2316
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 4:42 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 2:40 pm

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 !!
 
Mir
Posts: 19108
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 5:11 pm

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
 
CaptCufflinks
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:24 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 5:59 pm

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.
 
KAUSpilot
Posts: 1659
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:15 pm

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 13, 2013 6:24 pm

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."
 
nipoel123
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:23 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Tue May 14, 2013 7:24 am

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
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Tue May 14, 2013 1:04 pm

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 avatar
Starlionblue
Posts: 17117
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Tue May 14, 2013 1:14 pm

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." - John Ringo
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Tue May 14, 2013 1:29 pm

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.
 
shamrock137
Posts: 228
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:10 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Wed May 15, 2013 5:38 am

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!
 
PITrules
Posts: 2109
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Wed May 15, 2013 6:41 am

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 avatar
glen
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:43 pm

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Wed May 15, 2013 9:04 am

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
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Wed May 15, 2013 1:19 pm

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.
 
shamrock137
Posts: 228
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:10 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Wed May 15, 2013 5:08 pm

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!
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1567
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Fri May 17, 2013 2:41 am

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.
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Fri May 17, 2013 4:21 am

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.
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1567
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Sat May 18, 2013 4:04 pm

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.
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Sun May 19, 2013 4:46 pm

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.
 
WingedMigrator
Posts: 1769
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 9:45 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 20, 2013 12:11 am

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 7):
the weight is 300,000 lbs or greater.

Isn't there also a 'super' above 1.2 million lbs?
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Mon May 20, 2013 6:49 pm

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 25):
Isn't there also a 'super' above 1.2 million lbs?



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_turbulence

"The FAA does not use the ICAO categories for wake turbulence separation, instead using the following:[5]

Super - A separate designation that currently only refers to the Airbus A380[6]
Heavy - Aircraft capable of takeoff weights of 300,000 pounds (140,000 kg) or more whether or not they are operating at this weight during a particular phase of flight.
Large - Aircraft of more than 41,000 pounds (19,000 kg), maximum certificated takeoff weight, up to but not including 300,000 pounds (140,000 kg) .
Small – Aircraft of 41,000 pounds or less maximum certificated takeoff weight."
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
trnswrld
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 2:19 am

RE: Callsign With "Heavy"...when It Is And Isn't Used?

Sun May 26, 2013 6:23 pm

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 specific area at Chicago center. Maybe its because some of my sectors are low altitude that handles departure streams out of Chicago with aircraft still following very closely until we can get them spaced a bit more. Even at the high altitude sectors pilots tend to use it pretty often as do controllers. So although its definately not used as much in the enroute environment, its for sure used often at Chicago center where we typically have some pretty solid departure and arrival streams. We have never called a 757 a heavy. I did once on accident because that flight was normally a 767, but one day it was substituded by a 757. The pilot corrected me and said "we are not heavy" lol.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 9 guests