dfwjim1
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"Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Sun May 06, 2018 9:37 pm

I was listening to both the Shannon, Ireland and Miami en route centers today and I noticed the pilots and controllers did not use the word "heavy" for A330s, 777s...etc. Is the designation "heavy" used by pilots and controllers only during approach, departure, communicating with the tower and ground?
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Sun May 06, 2018 11:51 pm

At least in the USA (and really, what else matters?):

The word "heavy" shall be used as part of the identification of heavy jet aircraft as follow:

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

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

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

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

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

d. When issuing traffic advisories.

EXAMPLE-
"United Fifty-Eight Heavy."

NOTE-
Most airlines will use the word "heavy" following the company prefix and flight number when establishing communications or when changing frequencies within a terminal facility's area.

e. When in radio communications with "Air Force One" or "Air Force Two", do not add the heavy designator to the call sign. State only the call sign "Air Force One/Two" regardless of the type aircraft.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Mon May 07, 2018 12:11 am

While that’s the correct answer, there have been enroute wake incidents, including loss of control, where foreknowledge of “heavy” converging with light or medium wake category planes might have alerted the pilots to offset. Even in a C-5 passing an opposite direction 747 once caused me a memorable roll.

GF
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Mon May 07, 2018 1:29 am

I waited 20 damn years to use “heavy” suffix and I won’t omit it! :mrgreen:
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Mon May 07, 2018 1:58 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
While that’s the correct answer, there have been enroute wake incidents, including loss of control, where foreknowledge of “heavy” converging with light or medium wake category planes might have alerted the pilots to offset. Even in a C-5 passing an opposite direction 747 once caused me a memorable roll.

GF


No joke. For example: http://avherald.com/h?article=4a5e80f3
 
KAUSpilot
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Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Mon May 07, 2018 2:17 am

ICAO document 4444 deals with radio phraseology and it states "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" So, the first call to Shannon/New York/whoever should include heavy, but not the second, third, fourth, etc.

Like most things in aviation, each country/FIR and airline will have their own policies and variations. As stated above, in the USA it is customary for Heavy to be used in every transmission to relevant aircraft in the terminal area (approach, tower, ground, clearance frequencies) and not at all on enroute (ARTCC) frequencies. Some ARTCC's are starting to use heavy in recent years (chicago center for instance). Canada uses heavy on every call even on center frequencies. In Asia you almost never hear anyone say it at any time (perhaps because 90% of traffic there are heavies). In Europe it depends on the country.

My operator has requested that we include the heavy suffix in our callsign at all times as a matter of policy. I'm not in favor of this.
 
bhill
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Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Mon May 07, 2018 6:01 pm

Queue 757 discussion.....I must be getting old...this seems to pop up every 2-3 years...have not had a good conveyor belt marathon in a while either.....
Carpe Pices
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Fri May 11, 2018 8:15 am

Florianopolis wrote:

e. When in radio communications with "Air Force One" or "Air Force Two", do not add the heavy designator to the call sign. State only the call sign "Air Force One/Two" regardless of the type aircraft.

I watched Air Force One land and had Live ATC going. They actually did use "Air Force One heavy" as the call sign; it was the VC-25.
You know all is right is the world when the only thing people worry about is if the president had sex with a pornstar.


The thoughts and opinions shared under this username are mine and are not influenced by my employer.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Sat May 12, 2018 11:21 pm

Yes, it was, at one time, an USAF emphasis item—using “Heavy” in the call sign. Trust me, I know.

GF
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Sun May 13, 2018 4:39 am

TWA772LR wrote:
I watched Air Force One land and had Live ATC going. They actually did use "Air Force One heavy" as the call sign; it was the VC-25.


I'm assuming you mean the controller, not the A1 pilots?

I'm pretty sure the "no "heavy" for AF1" rule happened because hearing "Air Force One Heavy" really bothered a presidential pilot back in the 90s (+/- on the decade). I mean, it's not like AF1 is getting squeezed in between two Southwest 737s and you need to worry about wake turbulence on arrival.
 
trnswrld
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Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 2:19 am

Re: "Heavy" designation for enroute aircraft

Sun May 13, 2018 2:34 pm

At the enroute facility I work at the word heavy gets used often from both controllers and pilots. We are also talking about lower altitude sectors that sequence aircraft into a major airport so it’s not surprising.

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