Re: ETOPS question on Aer Lingus A330

Date:         01 Dec 97 02:33:54 
From:         Seth Dillon <bdillon1@mindspring.com>
Organization: MindSpring Enterprises
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Karl Swartz wrote:
> Right.  I should remember that, since I was once on a United 747-400
> that lost an engine just after takeoff, and afterwards the pilots were
> griping about all the paperwork required by ETOPS rules.  When I asked
> about this, they pointed out that United's 767-300s use essentially
> the same engines (PW4000s in their case) and thus an IFSD report had
> to be filed even though the 747-400 is not an ETOPS aircraft.
>
> Nevertheless, the basic airframe/engine combo has to be certified for
> ETOPS.  The, the airline and its operations and maintenance have to be
> certified.  It's not clear to me that this depends on experience with
> the airframe and/or engine for which ETOPS clearance is being requested,
> though once in service the airline's other experience with the engine
> is clearly relevant.

Agreed

> All of this ignores the special rules used for ETOPS-out-of-the-box
> used for the 777.  United's experience with the PW4000 on the 747 and
> 767 probably helped with the airline part of the certification, but
> the PW4000 on their 777s is a substantially different engine.

I think, and this is strictly opinion, the 777's 180 minute out of the
box approval had more to do with the work Boeing and the engine
manufacturers did prior to the aircraft entering service.  I am a little
uncomfortable with that,  there is a substantial learning curve with any
new aircraft or engine for both the operator and the manufacturer.  This
involves learning to analize trends and symptoms and take corrective
action before an event occurs.  While the PW4000 is based on an existing
type, the GE90 and RR Trent are a whole new breed of cat.  I do not have
any experience with these engines, but it is probable that the in
service limits are very tight, and the inspection interval is small.
Both will probably be relaxed and escalated as operating experienced is
gained,

> I tried looking for ETOPS info in the FARs, but couldn't find anything.
> Can anyone cite the exact FARs that cover ETOPS?  That's only for US
> carriers, but the rules in other countries are similar, and the FARs
> have the advantage of being on-line and this easy to refer to.

I don't believe the FAR's address this directly.  There is an Advisory
Circular which covers ETOPS program requirements but I do not know which
one.

-Seth