Heavy in at KDPA (DuPage west of KORD)


Just having my Sunday morning coffee when listening to KDPA (DuPage) grnd/tower working a departure “Reach 387T Heavy”.

I believe 'Reach" call sign is Military but the ‘Heavy’ threw me, never knew of a Heavy landing at KDPA. He was also on the civil side of the radio…

Anybody happen to know what type of a/c it was?



It’s probably a C-17. It can land on fairly short runways.


REACH is AMC, so a C-17 or a C-5.

KDPA has 7500 ft of pavement, you could probably get a C-5 in there and a lightly loaded departure.


Is C-17 classified as an ATC 'Heavy"?

Also I have seen “Reach” used on AMC charters too.

Just is a tad odd to see anything as a “Heavy” at KDPA. It isn’t exactly a ‘Heavy Friendly’ facility. Just very odd to hear that as a Hop & drop…the only other think I can think of is Presidential support a/c but I have not heard of the President coming thru Chicago in the near future.



Easily. “Heavy” is anything over about 128t max gross (fully loaded) and the C-17 is 141t empty.



Not sure where you are from but we generally refer to a/c weights in the US by pounds. (gawd I hate mental math)

In the US case, its 255,000 pounds or special characteristics (757).

Next time I am out at DPA to fly I’ll ask the line ops. guys.



Anyone know what the C-17 was doing at DPA? Obama is coming to Chicago this Wednesday, but why would they bring stuff to DPA? Every other time the president has come, the support planes land at ORD like AF1.


Something tells me if it is a Presidential support a/c, it would be easier all around to use KDPA then the fun & games at KORD for non-AF1 operations.



Ok, it almost certainly was there for presidential support. VH-60’s have now also been seen at DPA. I wonder if they are doing this due to the fact that the northeast cargo ramp was significantly shortened at ORD this summer. Before the ramp size change, the VC-25, C-17s or C-5, and all of the helicopters were parked next to each other on the ramp at ORD. I doubt there is enough space for all of that now though, seeing as how only four 747 spots are shown as available (see pdf).

geneva.patch.com/articles/helico … nt-s-visit

www.flychicago.com/pilotnews/ORD-Northe … A-Ramp.pdf


The 757 is no longer considered a heavy (even the 753) and the heavy weight has increased from 255 to 300 K, change happened Apr of 2010.


I’m not sure if the weight change you referenced really happened, and the 757 is no longer classified as a heavy due to weight alone, but it certainly still is treated as one. Every single 757 is referenced as a heavy by ATC in the U.S.


Treated differently by ATC as far as separation goes, but it’s not a heavy any more and you should not hear a 757 called a heavy on the radio any more. Plenty come to MSY and no heavy call sign is used that I have heard.

faa.gov/documentLibrary/medi … 10.525.pdf


Thanks for linking that PDF. I guess some of the controllers didnt get the message. They certainly didn’t at O’Hare. I was out there spotting on Sunday and atc was still calling all of the 757s heavy aircraft as normal.


the MTOW for heavy aircraft was lifted from 255,000lbs to 300,000lbs roughly 2 years ago by the FAA to conform with ICAO standards.

The reason being was that a B752 being at that exact weight could exceed that weight while fully loaded, but not exceed it when it arrived at its destination. therefore, controllers would be confused as to how many miles of separation were needed between that aircraft and the one following it (ATA’s B752s and all B753s were exempt from that issue, as those aircraft were already configured to exceed that MTOW limit). Now that the FAA is conforming to ICAO standards, all B757s are underneath the MTOW limit.

In the case of the C17, it had to have exceeded the 300,000lb MTOW limit for it to be called heavy.