Re: ETOPS

From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
Date:         08 Oct 96 13:00:07 
References:   1
Followups:    1
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In article <airliners.1996.1945@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Julian Throp
<jthrop@earthlight.co.nz> wrote:

> How  safe are ETOPS and are pilots aware of the risks in day to day
> operations.

There aren't any risks, any more than there are on any flight in a modern
commercial jetliner.  Engines are so reliable these days that they can
almost be ruled out as a source of problems.  Most in-flight problems that
occur today are in an airplane's systems, from navigation equipment to
electrical or hydraulic systems, to the lavatory system (yes, plugged
toilets can cause a flight to divert to the nearest airport).

And since twin-engine ETOPS planes use the same types of systems used in
three and four-engine airplanes, the chances of an inflight problem are
the same for all of them.

Actually, there are less risks in an ETOPS airplane because not only does
the plane have additional backup capabilities in the critical systems, but
the operator has to prove a very high level of competence in maintenance
and operations.  Just buying an ETOPS airplane does not qualify an airline
to fly ETOPS routes. The airline has to receive an ETOPS rating, too,in
effect.

People still tend to focus on engines as the most critical element of
ETOPS when in fact they are not.  Systems are much more important to the
success of ETOPS.

C. Marin Faure
   author, Flying a Floatplane