11.23.2014

Clear a Path for the "Heavy"

In the old days, before the "dreamliner" airbus A380, the biggest commercial passenger jets were 747s and DC10s. This trip to Australia is my first on an A380 dreamliner, although it is less of an air bus and more of an air cruise ship. I don't know if they let you do it anymore, but in the old days you could listen in to air traffic control on the complimentary headphones they gave you for in flight entertainment. I used to partake of that and in listening in on takeoffs and landings, I learned that big planes are referred to as "heavies," and smaller planes are put on hold when heavies take off and land because the heavies are bulky and unmaneuverable.

"You are cleared for landing, flight QA94 heavy!"

Plane just landed in Melbourne where the first officer indicated we'd be taxiing our heavy for a while due to gate traffic. I guess the privileges granted to heavies in the sky don't carry over to heavies on the ground.

That's heavy, man...

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