A recent incident involving an Air Canada Boeing 767-300 flying from Honolulu to Calgary brought to light how ETOPS procedures work. The plane, a twin engine widebody jet, was out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the pilots had to shut down one of the engines due to oil pressure issues. The flight was diverted to Vancouver, 900 miles away, on one engine…..sound scary? Not really. It’s part of ETOPS procedures.
All twin engine aircraft that fly up to 3 hours away from a suitable diversionary airport are ETOPS certified. 4 engine aircraft do not need ETOPS certification, because in theory they can fly on 2 or 3 engines. That is why certain routes will only be serviced by 4 engine aircraft. Flying over water has no bearing on ETOPS rating, just distance to nearest suitable airport. So if you are flying on a 4 engine plane, chances are you are far out there…..
Aviation Quote of Note:
Innocent Lady, “Young man are you flying on this plane”?
George Carlin, “F#*k you lady, I’m flying in this plane”!