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56

Given that the 777-300ER could have easily flown the remainder to LA with one engine -- which means it could have easily diverted to a nearby larger airport -- why didn't it? Standard operating procedure for engine failure on a twin calls for emergency and landing as soon as possible. That was their closest diversion point at the time, so there they landed. ...


47

Because the third engine would need to be near on centerline. That means in the tail. Putting the engine in the tail significantly changes its design requirements. Supporting an engine requires a lot of structural support. Then you need to run fuel to it. The effective height of the rudder is decreased. You probably need to switch over to a T-tail. The ...


38

Standard procedure for all twins is "nearest suitable airport" If you're in a twin, and an engine quits (especially over a remote area like the Arctic), you set a direct course for the nearest suitable airport for your aircraft. Issues like passenger comfort and availability of flights to rebook people are close to the bottom of the pilot's list in such a ...


34

ETOPS 138 and 207 are 15% extensions of ETOPS 120 and 180. The reason for that is that with the ETOPS 120 rule, most of the Atlantic could be covered when using Kangerlussuaq (Greenland), Gander (Newfoundland), Lajes Field (Azores) and Keflavik (Iceland) as alternative airports. Only some small triangles of the Atlantic were outside the 120 minutes flight ...


31

ETOPS stands for Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards, a rule which permits twin engine aircrafts to fly routes which, at some point, is more than 60 minutes flying time away from the nearest airport suitable for emergency landing. ETOPS may also be interpreted as Engines Turn or Passengers Swim. It is not a rule which applies after ...


31

This particular flight was a Boeing 747 flying from YSSY (Sidney) to SCEL (Santiago). Because a 747 has more than two engines, they don't have specific time limits on how far from land that they can fly like two engine airplanes do. That being said, they do have to carry enough fuel to make it to a suitable airport in the event that the airplane ...


26

You're correct that it is for ground handlers; more importantly, it is for mechanics. It is important to identify the aircraft as ETOPS as the servicing and checking requirements are different for ETOPS and non-ETOPS aircraft. For ETOPS aircraft, two critical systems (like engines) should have differnt maintenance personnel to avoid them making the same ...


21

Adding engines to the wings allows the minimum amount of changes to be made to the aircraft. Adding a third engine would require re-designing the tail section, and shifting the CG considerably at the same time. That would affect the airplane's handling characteristics so much that many calculations have to be redone. In fact, the A330 and A340 are so ...


17

ETOPS originally was an acronym for Extended Twin Operations. While it has been changed to just Extended Operations, the focus is still on twin engine aircraft. South African Airways currently operates the route with an A340-300, which has four engines. If it has an engine failure, it is not as much of an emergency as in a twin-engine aircraft, so it does ...


14

No, ETOPS is not satisfied solely by range circles, but (among other things) by the "time needed to fly to that airport". See the requirements of 14 CFR 121.633 (emphasis mine): (a) For ETOPS up to and including 180 minutes, no person may list an airport as an ETOPS Alternate Airport in a dispatch or flight release if the time needed to fly to that ...


12

There is nothing specific as such. It was given mainly as an extension to the 180 min ETOPS in North Pacific Area on a case by case basis. From 14 CFR Part 121, Appendix P to Part 121 - Requirements for ETOPS and Polar Operations: 207-minute ETOPS in the North Pacific Area of Operations. (1) The FAA grants approval to conduct ETOPS with maximum diversion ...


12

According to FAA §25.1535 Appendix K, The airplane flight manual must contain the following information applicable to the ETOPS type design approval: (b) Required markings or placards. (e) This statement: “The type-design reliability and performance of this airplane-engine combination has been evaluated under 14 CFR 25.1535 and found suitable ...


11

The FAA ETOPS certification requires certain standards from both the airline (the operator) and the aircraft (the manufacturer). As far as the manufacturers are concerned, the ETOPS certification is given for a particular aircraft-engine combination satisfying certain requirements. The FAA ETOPS Rules Section A deals with the Airplane-Engine Type Design ...


10

The optimization problem is unchanged from the all engines operative (AEO) cruise optimization. You should still: Climb as high as practical (colder, thinner air is better for range) Set the lift coefficient such that drag is minimized for propeller aircraft ($c_{Di} = c_{D0}$). For turbojets, minimize energy per flight time ($c_{Di} = \frac{1}{3}\cdot c_{...


9

The 737 ER (Extended Range) differs from the rest of its family by having an extra fuel tank extending its effective range. Legally speaking (for US registered aircraft) you don't need to carry life preservers for each passenger, if you are only flying over land routes. So if a plane is being used for say a JFK $\rightarrow$ Nashville route, they would not ...


9

I see no mention of 14CFR 121.161 so here it is. § 121.161 Airplane limitations: Type of route. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, unless approved by the Administrator in accordance with Appendix P of this part and authorized in the certificate holder's operations specifications, no certificate holder may operate a ...


9

Yes, three- and four-engine airliners follow 'Long-Range Operations' restrictions just like twin-engine airliners. From WikiPedia: Airbus proposed to replace ETOPS by a newer system, referred to as LROPS or Long Range Operational Performance Standards, which would affect all civil airliners, not just those with a twin-engine configuration (...) The FAA has ...


8

Most of the action for ETOPS flights takes place during planning and dispatch stages- the planning for alternate airports, gathering of weather reports for diversion cases etc. Before ETOPS entry point, the weather reports are updated and checks are made; after that there are no 'special' procedures to be followed during a (normal ETOPS) flight. From ...


8

Air New Zealand's Auckland (AKL) to Buenos Aires (EZE) is the longest ETOPS flight I know of, under ETOPS 330. It started in 2015: Air New Zealand completed the first flight approved for 330-minute extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS), flying a 777-200ER powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. The December 1 flight departed from Auckland, New Zealand,...


7

Hindsight is 20/20. At that time, nobody could be sure the ETOPS rule would be extended the way it eventually was. The 1985 extension was a gift from the FAA to Boeing, so US carriers could use the Boeing 767 for transatlantic services. The 1989 extension to 180 minutes allowed them to cover all domestic routes with a single type when before they needed ...


6

Some aircraft may have a special "ETOPS APU" that can be purchased, but many aircraft simply have THE APU that they come with. It is maintained to the standards required in the approved ETOPS program, and is either run during the ETOPS portion of the flight, or else has some means to ensure that it will reliably start even when cold-soaked. (For instance, at ...


6

Every time an engine is shut down in flight, it is tracked. Engine reliability does affect ETOPS certification. In addition to the aircraft being certified, each airline is also ETOPS certified. An aircraft or an airline with a poor record could have its ETOPS certification downgraded, or even potentially revoked. Wikipedia ETOPS Approval ETOPS ...


6

ETOPS aircraft usually will have an indication on the front nose gear doors like this picture. I believe that an indication is given in the cockpit also on some type of aircraft info placard but I have no image to back this up. I am certain that the airlines dispatch computer system will have some sort of tag as to whether an aircraft is ETOPS rated.


6

Your guess is right. In this article you can read about engine-out procedures. Because you can't maintain a certain altitude without sufficient thrust, losing an engine means you can't maintain the same cruising altitude without all the engines running. This is, of course, based on the fact that you're flying around the maximum altitude you can fly with ...


6

If there is a formula currently used to generate an ETOPS time, no regulatory agency has made it public that I can tell. ETOPS originally grew out of a "60-minute rule" that was the result of earlier distance-based rules (see this report for a thorough history). My guess is that 60 minutes was a case of "well, that sounds good" rather than the result of any ...


6

There is no definitive, objective, commonly agreed upon set of criteria that I am aware of that provides an answer to your question. Certainly airline dispatch departments strive to send aircraft along routes that will minimize exposure to extreme conditions if that's an option, and there may even be changes of schedules involved, but in the end, it's the ...


5

ETOPS does not only affect the engines of an aircraft – long ETOPS ratings such as the 747-8's 330-minute ETOPS capability also require that systems like fire suppression be sufficient for over five (!) hours of flying after something in the cargo hold sets itself ablaze. This is accomplished by metering a flow of extinguishing agent into the cargo hold ...


5

Boeing has a post about it here: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_2_07/article_02_7.html Basically, twins have to get ETOPS when they are more than 60 minutes from an airport, and planes with 3+ engines have to get it when they are more than 180 minutes from an airport. Hopefully that answers your question.


5

I think it's because the last 747-400 was built in 2009. §121.162 ETOPS Type Design Approval Basis. Except for a passenger-carrying airplane with more than two engines manufactured prior to February 17, 2015 and except for a two-engine airplane that, when used in ETOPS, is only used for ETOPS of 75 minutes or less, no certificate holder may ...


5

On the great circle route from Sydney to Santiago, from southern New Zealand (past Invercargill, maybe) to southern Chile, there is a stretch of about 4,000 nm with no landing sites. There are specific requirements for air carriers for "extended overwater operations." These take into account the aircraft range after engine failure, distance to diversion ...


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