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Airbus A350-900 Gains Beyond 180 Minutes Diversion Time ETOPS From FAA

The Airbus A350-900 has gained extended-range twin-engine operations (ETOPS) approval from FAA for routes that require beyond 180 minutes diversion time, which will give US A350 operators more range and flexibility with the aircraft. ( More...

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Richard Bowman 10
It seems as if there might be a bit of politics creeping into ETOPS approval. In the US, the Boeing 787 is given 330 minutes ETOPS approval, and then Europe gives the Airbus A350-900, 370 minute approval. Standard ETOPs has been 120 minutes I believe. Now if my butt is aboard an aircraft and we lose one of our 2 engines, I want that same butt, back on the groung safely ASAP. It seems as if both Europe and The US, are trying to give an advantage to their own product over the competition, with passenger safety coming second. Think about it. 370 minutes is is 6 hours and 10 minutes of sweaty nail biting, praying the second engine is not a duplicate of the first. I hope that each aircraft comes equipped with a seviceable Angel, because they might need it. If only for good luck.
Ric Wernicke 6
How can you say politics are involved? Everyone knows the top engineers work for these political bodies and always deliver correct opinions for the policy makers to guide their decisions. Why just look at the record of the current administration...uhoh...I think I just shot myself down.

I just want to know why they are going where there is no runway within 6 hours of fly time? Perhaps China is leading the way building runways in the South China Sea.
joel wiley 1
passenger safety second? I fear it's slipping farther down than that.
lsharpe69 1
Amen my friend. Recall Transat flight 236. Fuel leak to right engine and lack of situational awareness should have detected fuel leak yet pilots elected to share wing tanks rather than shut down right engine and fuel flow. Aircraft had loss of fuel emergency and glided without fuel to the Azores. Pilot was awarded for longest glide in an airliner. Congrats! Landed over-speed and blew all tires as APU did not supply hydraulics, including flaps! Glad my butt wasn't on this flight. - safe av8ting!
Guy Cocoa 5
This is a totally random thought, but if an aircraft is going to wind up in the drink because both engines quit, regardless of the low probability of such an event occurring, what I would want would be the ability to safely set the aircraft down on water and break out the rafts. It would seem that the primary impediment to setting it down safely would be the engines. Once they start gulping water the nose of the aircraft will pitch straight down, or if they hit asymmetrically, then they'll rip the aircraft apart (see Ethiopian flight 961). True, Captain Sully pulled off a miracle on the Hudson, but the A320 engines do not have a nine foot fan, and the Hudson is not the open ocean. In such a dire circumstance it would be helpful if there was some way to drop the engines prior to impact so that the craft would have a better chance of landing intact on the water, and be able to float long enough for the rafts to be deployed and filled with passengers. Yes, I know that the cure might be worse than the disease as we might have engines being dropped all over the world, but it was just a thought.
KauaiGolfer -1
If you had to put one in the North Atlantic in the winter, you might as well nose it over and go straight in, because nobody is going to survive very long, raft or not.
Gary Berrian 6

ETOPS has been around for a very long time. The first Aircraft to fly ETOPS was the B767-200, the carrier was El Al. This happened in the early 1980's. The old saying within the mechanics break rooms was " Engines Turn Or People Swim. We were always very aware of this in the back of our minds and made an effort that this would never happen to us, and I am referring to people swimming. The technology in engine design and manufacturing has made ETOPS even better today and this has come to no surprise to anyone in the industry. Extended Twin OPs is a catalyst of the Airline Industry.

A little history of the best commercial aircraft ever built.

The B777 was born with a meeting that took place on Oct.15,1990. At that meeting were UAL, Boeing , and Pratt-Whitney. They talked over lunch and discussed this aircraft that must meet Best dispatch reliability in the industry, Greatest customer appeal in the industry, and be also user friendly. This all came to fruition on June 7, 1995 as Boeing delivered " Working Together" the first B777-200 for UAL that was 180 minutes ETOPS out of the Box. I was one of the chosen 100 who delivered the Aircraft to UAL's Maintenance base in San Francisco.
At first the aircraft had a few bugs like many first production Aircraft of a new type. In time many of the glitches were worked out and we worked directly with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney to solve them.
This aircraft gents is the best ETOPS aircraft ever built. Yeah, there is always some politics that takes place and
that is part of doing business in a global economy. The truth is guys is that you very rarely ever shut down one of these 90,000 pound thrust engines. In my 40 year Aviation career I can remember only a handful that have come my way. As Ric said "top engineers work for these political bodies". but please leave the politics out, these well designed machines speak for themselves..Orville and Wilbur would be proud!
Gary Berrian
30west 1
I agree with you Ron on the safety of ETOPS. I flew ETOPS out of JFK on the 767-200 and -300 using 120 minute requirements if the alternates were available/useable, and 180 minutes if the alternates were down. The airline's default filing was the 120 minute ETOPS dispatch versus 180 minute, even though the particular jet was certified for 180 minutes, because the fees associated for the 120 minute dispatch were significantly less than the 180 minute dispatch.
ron paliughi 3
Based on the catastrophic hand flying difficulties that surfaced on AF 447, lets hope the ability to fly on one engine during " alternate law" ops in the Flight Levels goes better. This is truly scarey stuff, flying 300 plus humans on one engine over water for 5-6 hours - the average pax is oblivious of course. Yes, before someone says it- "the odds of a modern high tech turbofan engine quitting in flight are extremely low" so no problem right. Truly hope the 747's don't all disappear- hope you are listening British Air.
Gary Berrian 1
Yes Ron,
4 is always better than 2 but not economical.
We are fitting Wi-Fi soon so we will be keeping them to at least 2020.
djames225 1
Why is it not economical to run 4 engines?...they dont have to be gigantic GENx's or Trent XWb's...maybe engine manufactures should look at smaller more fuel efficient units.
Gary Berrian 0
It all comes down to $$$$$.
djames225 1
Low perhaps but not without merut ron...remember the Air Transat flight that had to fly like a glider after both engines went out due to fuel issues...aircraft manufactures forget that on twin engine craft if both engines quit u have no power
30west 1
The Air Transit loss of both engines was caused by improper mx procedures that caused a fuel leak and the pilots cross-feeding fuel to be vented overboard until all fuel was gone. Had a similar mx failure and improper crew action occurred on a four engine jet, the result would have been the same.... a glider, only a four engine version, not two.
djames225 1
Yes I know what caused it and this particular instance was a bad analigy
Joseph Cooney 3
Well formulated comments. Diversion time should be minimalized... .not maximized.
David Sims 3
I bet that will feel like a long 5 hours if one quits.
Highflyer1950 3
So on one engine you can get 400 knots, maybe with a 100 knot tailwind!
Bob Bell 1
After descending and slowing to single engine cruise, the proximity of a good alternate field will minimize workload and stress. Political gaming should not impact safe ETOPS contingency. KEEP IT SIMPLE - STUPID! Bob Bell
morpheus 1
I have some question for the long-haul non-stop aircraft manufacturers.
In these days of flight exceeding 12 hours, why do the manufacturers uses hard plastic for the pax seat handles? Why can't they use some soft material?
How about providing some cushion in pax seats (777-300 ER)? Being a formal FAA Acft Dispatcher, I do understand the weight concerns.
Highflyer1950 1
Especially if you have to descend to FL280 and start picking up ice! Oh well, fun times.


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