Extended Range OPerationS
, also spelled ETOPS
The standard that a commercial twin
must be able to fly for at least sixty minutes with only one engine operating
. An extended EROPS/ETOPS
rating allows an aircraft to fly more direct routes across large bodies of water (where there are few places to land
a passenger jet
), making for shorter flight-times and cheaper costs (less fuel
). It does
mean that you could be relying on a Boeing 777
to fly for three hours with only one engine.
Engines Refuse to Operate, Please Swim:
If all engines of an aircraft fail, they can (at best) glide to a landing. (Note that this is not an option for helicopters.) Various pilots' organisations and some manufacturers are concerned that the FAA is considering extending EROPS to 207 minutes for North Pacific routes in the near future, and possibly even up to 240 minutes. Just bear in mind that this would mean that, after an IFSD, you then have to go for up to four hours with only one engine. And if you have a dual IFSD, you're in the drink.