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Home > Airways > Whether flying long period over water requires airplane with two engines or more?
Whether flying long period over water requires airplane with two engines or more?
Flying - Airways
Thursday, 06 December 2007 19:16

Hello Capt Lim,

Why doesn't the NTSB require any flights over water for an extended period of time, say 5 hours or more, to use planes with at least three (3) engines ?

James BW

Hi James,

When you mentioned about flying for 5 hours or more over water - in reality, an airplane seldom fly for that long over the sea without at least an airport in an island less than three hours away. The Boeing 777, with two powerful engines has been certified by FAA to fly over water for at least three hours on a single engine (see the topic on ETOPS above).

As I have discussed above on ETOPS, when the working group's proposal to have airplanes with three or more engines to apply the same safety requirements as the Boeing 777 are implemented, then there is not much difference in terms of operating long flights over water between airplanes with 2 engines and those with 3 engines or more.

At the moment, because of ETOPS requirements, any flights over about three hours and above over water, would require an airplane with three engines or more.

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