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Use of the term "heavy" when checking in with the


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Hi fellow VATSIMers.

 

We all know that aircraft such as the 747, 767, 777, A340 and others are refered to as "heavys" because they have a maximum certificated take-off weight of 300,000 lb (136,000 kg) or more. So, while monitoring r/w ARTCC comms, I was curious why sometimes the crew of a 777 would include "heavy" with their callsign when checking in with the ARTCC and other times they wouldn't. So in the interest of keeping our hobby "as real as it gets", I did some digging on the FAA's website and found the following.

 

Go to http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/ATC/Chp2/atc0204.html and scroll down to section 2-4-14. WORDS AND PHRASES. In essence, it states that "heavy" can be ommitted from the callsign by both the airline crew and the ARTCC if the airliner is just p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing through that ARTCC's airspace Enroute and the controller is not providing approach and/or departure services for that aircraft.

 

Happy flying!

 

Jeff

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Hi fellow VATSIMers.

 

We all know that aircraft such as the 747, 767, 777, A340 and others are refered to as "heavys" because they have a maximum certificated take-off weight of 300,000 lb (136,000 kg) or more.

If I might correct you here. The FAA cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ifies an aircraft as heavy if it has a mtow of higher then 255,000 lbs, not 300,000.

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Jeff,

 

What you found in the .65 is correct. Heavy is not required for use by en-route controllers typically since wake turbulence rarely affects other aircraft in an en-route controller's airspace. In instances where there's a chance of that happening, noted as approach services, or in other situations where a heavy jet is in close proximity to an aircraft potentially affected by wake turbulence, then stating "heavy" with the callsign is appropriate.

 

Pilots keep saying heavy when they don't have to probably for two reasons. 1.) Force of habit, or 2.) Ego

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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Hi fellow VATSIMers.

 

We all know that aircraft such as the 747, 767, 777, A340 and others are refered to as "heavys" because they have a maximum certificated take-off weight of 300,000 lb (136,000 kg) or more.

If I might correct you here. The FAA cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ifies an aircraft as heavy if it has a mtow of higher then 255,000 lbs, not 300,000.

 

I believe what you were thinking of is the ICAO MTOW for a heavy. Not sure on this, maybe someone else can chime in.

 

We have the Boeing 757 to thank for this. Back in the day, controllers were unaware of the wake turbulence generated by this overpowered aircraft, so normal seperation was applied. Accidents obviously resulted and the cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ification from "large" and "heavy" was changed from 300,000 lbs to 255,000 lbs.

 

Another mistake I see a lot of pilots on the network make is referring to themselves as "heavy" in the B757-200 - which has an MTOW of 255,000 lbs. The 7110.65 states that a heavy jet is cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ified as having an MTOW (regardless of what weight the aircraft is operating at) GREATER than that of 255,000 lbs - therefore the 757-200 should not be reffered to as "heavy" on frequency. Wake turbulence seperation standards still apply to the 757-200, however.

Andrew James Doubleday | Twitch Stream: Ground_Point_Niner

University of North Dakota | FAA Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) GraduateGPN_Horizontal_-_Tertiary.thumb.png.9d7edc4d985ab7ed1dc60b92a5dfa85c.png

 

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Another mistake I see a lot of pilots on the network make is referring to themselves as "heavy" in the B757-200 - which has an MTOW of 255,000 lbs. The 7110.65 states that a heavy jet is cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ified as having an MTOW (regardless of what weight the aircraft is operating at) GREATER than that of 255,000 lbs - therefore the 757-200 should not be reffered to as "heavy" on frequency. Wake turbulence seperation standards still apply to the 757-200, however.

 

Of course I'm not a licensed dispatcher, but I believe there are some exceptions to that. I have consistently seen the majority of ATA's flights in the 757-200 file with the "H/" - and I would find it very hard to believe ATA's dispatching team just misread the regulations.

Nick Bartolotta - ZSE Instructor, pilot at large

 

"Just fly it on down to within a inch of the runway and let it drop in from there."

- Capt. Don Lanham, ATA Airlines

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Another mistake I see a lot of pilots on the network make is referring to themselves as "heavy" in the B757-200 - which has an MTOW of 255,000 lbs. The 7110.65 states that a heavy jet is cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ified as having an MTOW (regardless of what weight the aircraft is operating at) GREATER than that of 255,000 lbs - therefore the 757-200 should not be reffered to as "heavy" on frequency. Wake turbulence seperation standards still apply to the 757-200, however.

 

Of course I'm not a licensed dispatcher, but I believe there are some exceptions to that. I have consistently seen the majority of ATA's flights in the 757-200 file with the "H/" - and I would find it very hard to believe ATA's dispatching team just misread the regulations.

 

You would not be wrong, Nick. ATA requested that their B752s be configured to exceed the 255,000 MTOW limit, so theirs will always be Heavy. Condor had theirs set the same. Outside of that, any other B757s which are heavy, are B753s.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

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Thanks for the clarification, Brad. That was what I originally had heard, but wasn't sure if that was indeed the case.

 

therefore the 757-200 should not be reffered to as "heavy" on frequency...unless you're an ATA 757-200.

 

Nick Bartolotta - ZSE Instructor, pilot at large

 

"Just fly it on down to within a inch of the runway and let it drop in from there."

- Capt. Don Lanham, ATA Airlines

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of course, the 757 series is also a "special" series because they're treated like a heavy because of their wake turbulence as well. I apologize, but I don't have that reference. I'm sure someone will quote the correct section of FAAO 7110.65.

$mypvtrw() $radio()

{Name/Rank Not Allowed...See ServInfo and try not to crash}

{METAR Not allowed...Crash while checking Servinfo}

{No Other Info available...Excuse: No Bandwidth}

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Well...the 757 has it's own category cause it's just oh so special

 

Easiest way to put it, if the 757 is in front, treat it like it's a heavy, if it's behind, treat it like a large. For those of you who want specifics...out of 7110.65 exactly:

http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/ATC/Chp5/atc0505.html#5-5-4

UND ATC Major

ZAU MS

GO FIGHTING SIOUX

"Success isn't really a result of spontaneous combustions. You must set yourselfs on fire."

-Arnold H. Glasow

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If the controller omits Heavy when calling the a/c, does the pilot continue it or stop as well? If he does stop it, when does he start referring to himself as heavy again?

 

Perhaps this is in the same boat as the abbreviation of a callsign - I check in as FOOD, and the controller calls me back using OOD -- I should go along with what he says.

 

Although, if memory serves me right, it should be used until it is established that said aircraft is a heavy, and then it can be omitted.

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Although, if memory serves me right, it should be used until it is established that said aircraft is a heavy, and then it can be omitted.

 

True, as long as the "heavy" in question is not in a terminal area or decending from it's cruise phase in preparation for an approach/landing in which case it should always be referred to as "heavy" by both ATC and the flight crew. Here's the exact verbage from the FAA's ATC publication:

 

b. The word "heavy" shall be used as part of the identification of heavy jet aircraft as follows:

 

TERMINAL. In all communications with or about heavy jet aircraft.

 

EN ROUTE. The use of the word heavy may be omitted except as follows:

 

1. In communications with a terminal facility about heavy jet operations.

 

2. In communications with or about heavy jet aircraft with regard to an airport where the en route center is providing approach control service.

 

3. In communications with or about heavy jet aircraft when the separation from a following aircraft may become less than 5 miles by approved procedure.

 

4. When issuing traffic advisories.

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FWIW, the AIM says that pilots should use heavy and doesn't list times where it would be appropriate for them to drop it (section 4-2-4):

 

5. Air carriers and commuter air carriers having FAA authorized call signs should identify themselves by stating the complete call sign (using group form for the numbers) and the word “heavyâ€

ZLA, Facility Engineer, C-3

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FWIW, the AIM says that pilots should use heavy and doesn't list times where it would be appropriate for them to drop it (section 4-2-4):

 

5. Air carriers and commuter air carriers having FAA authorized call signs should identify themselves by stating the complete call sign (using group form for the numbers) and the word “heavyâ€

Andrew James Doubleday | Twitch Stream: Ground_Point_Niner

University of North Dakota | FAA Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) GraduateGPN_Horizontal_-_Tertiary.thumb.png.9d7edc4d985ab7ed1dc60b92a5dfa85c.png

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

Just keep in mind that the AIM is only advisory for pilots, meaning it is "recommended" phraseology - not "required", where as the 7110.65 is required phraseology for controllers. Another key word in the statement from the AIM is the word "Should" - again, indicating recommended and not required. If the statement contained the word "Shall" then it would be required of the pilot.

 

 

Bingo.... Pilots aren't REQUIRED to say anything. Controllers are, but, as long as the pilots know who I'm talking to, and I get my point made, there won't be much said.

 

Also, the A380, as far as the FAA is concerned, is still just a "Heavy". If that were the case, the C5, AN224, and 225 would need to re-addressed, as well.

 

BUT FIRST.... THEY NEED TO GET THE A380 OUT OF THE HANGER!!!! I wonder....... Is the A380 the next "Spruce Goose"??

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Another mistake I see a lot of pilots on the network make is referring to themselves as "heavy" in the B757-200 - which has an MTOW of 255,000 lbs. The 7110.65 states that a heavy jet is cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ified as having an MTOW (regardless of what weight the aircraft is operating at) GREATER than that of 255,000 lbs - therefore the 757-200 should not be reffered to as "heavy" on frequency. Wake turbulence seperation standards still apply to the 757-200, however.

 

Of course I'm not a licensed dispatcher, but I believe there are some exceptions to that. I have consistently seen the majority of ATA's flights in the 757-200 file with the "H/" - and I would find it very hard to believe ATA's dispatching team just misread the regulations.

 

You would not be wrong, Nick. ATA requested that their B752s be configured to exceed the 255,000 MTOW limit, so theirs will always be Heavy. Condor had theirs set the same. Outside of that, any other B757s which are heavy, are B753s.

 

BL.

 

Being anal when it comes to phraseology, I just want to make sure I understand this correctly. With respect to how an aircrat is referred to on the radio, while in terminal airspace:

 

- B752s from Cndor and ATA are referred to as "heavy"

 

- All other B752s are NOT referred to as "heavy"

 

- All B753s are referred to as "Heavy"

 

Again. I'm not speaking about application of wake turbulence separation nor speaking about radio callsigns during the enroute portion of the flight.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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Of course I'm not a licensed dispatcher, but I believe there are some exceptions to that. I have consistently seen the majority of ATA's flights in the 757-200 file with the "H/" - and I would find it very hard to believe ATA's dispatching team just misread the regulations.

 

You would not be wrong, Nick. ATA requested that their B752s be configured to exceed the 255,000 MTOW limit, so theirs will always be Heavy. Condor had theirs set the same. Outside of that, any other B757s which are heavy, are B753s.

 

BL.

 

Being anal when it comes to phraseology, I just want to make sure I understand this correctly. With respect to how an aircrat is referred to on the radio, while in terminal airspace:

 

- B752s from Cndor and ATA are referred to as "heavy"

 

- All other B752s are NOT referred to as "heavy"

 

- All B753s are referred to as "Heavy"

 

Again. I'm not speaking about application of wake turbulence separation nor speaking about radio callsigns during the enroute portion of the flight.

 

Yep! you're exactly right here, IE.

 

BL.

Edited by Guest

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

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