From: (DLawler)
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
Date:         08 Oct 96 13:00:08 
References:   1
Followups:    1 2 3
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> Are ETOPS flights as safe as 3 and 4 engined aircraft, except the obvious
> that they have less engines and hence less chance of a failure!

One of Boeing's reasons for developing the 777 for ETOPS was that
additional engines do not add a significant margin of safety for the
simple reason that the more engines, the more maintenance that is required
to keep them in peak operating condition.  Boeing has argued that the
evidence shows the more engines and aircraft has, the more likely there
will be a problem with one or more of the engines, and that consequently
3+ engine airplanes are no more safe in that respect than 2 engine
airplanes.  Of course, there is disagreement in the aviation industry as
to whether the evidence truly shows that to be the case.

Boeing made the case well enough that we received FAA approval for
delivered ETOPS capability.

- David Lawler
  Boeing Defense and Space
  formerly Experimental Flight Test, 777 (WA003)