Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Ground & Other Ops Forums > ATC Issues
Reload this Page >

Why do I not hear "Heavy" in Europe?

ATC Issues A place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.

Why do I not hear "Heavy" in Europe?

Old 2nd Oct 2015, 11:16
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 1999
Location: KIAD
Posts: 188
Why do I not hear "Heavy" in Europe?

I am based in the USA, working for a major US carrier, and we are required to use the term "Heavy" with our call signs when first contacting ground, tower and approach. Yet when I fly into Europe, "Heavy" seems to not be used at all on these facility frequencies. Why is that? Also, why do I have to report my aircraft type when first contacting Heathrow Director? Does the controller not have this information on the "Strip"?

Curious more than anything, but as I am a line trainer, I would like to have this info as part of my briefings to the pilot newbies....

Thanks - OH
Oilhead is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2015, 11:25
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: etha
Posts: 288
A recentish thread all about reporting your aircraft type on first contact can be found here

I'll let an approach controller tackle the "heavy" bit, certainly not required or useful to the Area guys.
zonoma is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2015, 17:59
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: A warm pub
Posts: 1,213
I must confess I always roll my eyes when someone checks in with me (area) and ends the callsign with "super".
Una Due Tfc is offline  
Old 2nd Oct 2015, 18:18
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: The Pits
Posts: 35
The requirement in the UK is detailed in CAP413 -

"1.9.6 Aircraft in the heavy wake turbulence category shall include the word ‘HEAVY’
immediately after the aircraft callsign in the initial call to each ATSU. The purpose of
this call is to confirm the aircraft type and/or wake turbulence category is the same as
that stated on the flight progress strip. For the A380 the word "SUPER" is to be
included after the callsign on initial contact."

although I agree it doesn't get used as much in Europe as the US - maybe it should be?
Cole Burner is online now  
Old 2nd Oct 2015, 21:16
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: ortac
Posts: 61
As for your question regarding confirmation of aircraft type when checking in with ATC in Europe, as far as I know this is to verify 100% what type is being operated on today's service to xyz as this could change at short notice such as type change or flight being sub charted by someone else using different equipment with original type left on strip, and so ATC can plan accordingly.
ICEHOUSES is online now  
Old 3rd Oct 2015, 03:02
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Age: 42
Posts: 121
For high level area controllers the wake vortex category is irrelevant,you'll get 5 miles and 1000 ft separation. Although you should state heavy or super on first contact,I believe this is also an ICAO recommended practice. The aircraft type on approach is because it has happened many times in the past where a short notice aircraft change has not been put into an amended flight plan. The plan says A320 but a B767 is being used. Not an issue for you,potentially very much an issue for the crew right behind you on the approach.
rolaaand is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2015, 10:47
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 531
"Super" on first contact in a tower unit can be very beneficial. The reduced availability of runway exits and Code F taxiways is the key consideration. Whilst three airlines operate exclusively A388s on routes to the airport where I work the other airlines who use A388s regularly also have a number of other aircraft types. The "Super" prefix can be handy.
GT3 is offline  
Old 7th Oct 2015, 04:31
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: DESDI or BUBIN
Posts: 379
The "super" on first contact, whilst worthy of the eye rolling and cringing is actually a company requirement and I believe ICAO recommendation. It is mandatory with every call in the US, Canada and several other countries.
Eau de Boeing is offline  
Old 7th Oct 2015, 08:19
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SE England
Posts: 588
I didn't get where I am today without every A380 joining the frequency reminding me of Reggie Perrin:

Dan Dare is offline  
Old 7th Oct 2015, 13:29
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: DESDI or BUBIN
Posts: 379
Let us know where you work and we will try it with the accent!
Eau de Boeing is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 13:10
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: UAE
Posts: 210
rolaaand really?

Are you telling me type doesn't matter?

You use 5 miles separation with a Citation behind an A388?
Rule3 is offline  
Old 9th Oct 2015, 08:23
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: etha
Posts: 288
Rule3, in Area control, yes. There are no other separation rules other than 5 miles or 1000 feet (or 2000/4000 feet when appropriate, but not for wake).
zonoma is offline  
Old 10th Oct 2015, 12:03
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Belgium
Age: 42
Posts: 137
When the Citation is a light category aircraft (CJ1, CJ2) you need at least 6nm behind a heavy.

And it doesn't look good when a pilot queries about the prededing acft type and you have to say "dunno"...
TWR is offline  
Old 10th Oct 2015, 18:20
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: southampton
Posts: 225
There is a difference between wake vortex separations in area control between the UK and ICAO. In the UK only 5nm and 1000 feet is applicable, in ICAO there are bigger separations regarding super and heavy classifications.
1985 is offline  
Old 10th Oct 2015, 21:54
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: etha
Posts: 288
1985 - can you provide a link to the ICAO document that says that? I've searched reasonably hard and cannot find anything mentioning any enroute wake separations.
zonoma is offline  
Old 11th Oct 2015, 02:25
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Age: 42
Posts: 121
Rule 3. Yes really. From a UK perspective, you'll get 5nm separation regardless of vortex category in the enroute environment. Not on final approach though!
rolaaand is offline  
Old 11th Oct 2015, 02:37
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Age: 42
Posts: 121
Although I must stress,5nm is a minimum, not a target to achieve. For traffic in the cruise and speed locked I wouldn't be using the bare minimum as this means an instant loss of separation if things change eg the one in front slows due to turbulence. 8-10nm is a more realistic in trail scenario. Even so, wake vortex encounters in the cruise seem rare,or at least rarely reported, and can be easily solved with a lateral offset.
rolaaand is offline  
Old 12th Oct 2015, 13:18
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Somewhere cold
Posts: 12
This is all new to me...as an approach controller who follows ICAO wake turbulence separation I have had no reports of wake turbulence on final in 10 years. The only reports I have had are aircraft that are in trail at more or less 10000' and near minimums. So in the UK wake turbulence separation does not exist?
Braun is offline  
Old 12th Oct 2015, 17:04
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: A warm pub
Posts: 1,213
I've had wake turbulence reported a few times, but it was always traffic 1000ft above and a few miles ahead. Easily fixed with an offset.
Una Due Tfc is offline  
Old 28th Oct 2015, 21:06
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 14
I had a "severe" (quoting the pilot) wake turbulence encounter reported to me en-route once involving an A319 and an A320! One aircraft was climbing underneath the other and they were on crossing tracks.
PSR is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.