Re: B757 "Heavy Jet"?

From: (Alan Browne)
Organization: Canadian Marconi Company
Date:         20 Jul 96 15:56:06 
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>> At Heathrow tonight a Sabena 737 pilot got a right telling-off for
>> declining to take off close behind a 757.  He was told that in the UK
>> 757s are not considered to be heavy and that 2 minute separation was not
>> necessary.  The pilot in the aircraft behind the next 757 further down
>> the queue immediately requested two minute separation as well!
>According to the Manual of Air Traffic Services Pt1 the B757 is still
>classified as a Medium in the UK. The only time it is treated
>differently is for final approach vortex spacing when if a Medium is
>following a Medium if the lead a/c is a B757 the spacing is increased
>from 3 to 4 miles.

Bureacrats are always right, you know, one shouldn't allow pilots to make
safety judgements, where a qualified bureuacrat has already deemed the
aircraft a medium...

I would think, whether or not the aircraft is classified a medium or a heavy
that the great difference in weight between a 757 and a 737 is enough for
any pilot to think twice before taking off behind the heavier aircraft.

Further, the pilot, being a professional, had probably heard of incidents in
the US and decided to be cautious.  Sounds good to me.  (yes I know the
reported incidents are for approach, not takeoff).  It is true that the
vortexes are worst during approach for a variety of reasons (high angle of
incidence?? higher flap settings??)

God knows, if he had had an incident or an accident from taking off too
close behind the 757, the Sabena pilot would have been publicly castrated
and then of course the bureaucrats would have sniffed "...well obviously the
pilot was at fault..."

Alan Browne
The above (caustic) opinion is my own.