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Home > ETOPS > Could the Boeing 777 limp on a single engine if one has failed whilst crossing the Atlantic?
Could the Boeing 777 limp on a single engine if one has failed whilst crossing the Atlantic?
Flying - ETOPS
Written by Capt Lim   
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 22:19

Dear Capt Lim

I have a question pertaining to the Boeing 777. I am preparing for a flight from DFW to Frankfurt, Germany and was wondering about engine failure on the Boeing 777. On your website, you state that the plane is designed to fly three hours on one engine (provided you attained sufficient altitude and speed beforehand). But what about a long flight like my upcoming one over ocean? Could the Boeing 777 limp into an airport if one of the engines failed crossing the Atlantic?

Sincerely,

Wayne Simmons

Hi Wayne,

Your flight from DFW to Frankfurt will satisfy the ETOPS requirements otherwise it would not be permitted to operate the route over the Atlantic Ocean. Depending on which Airline you are flying with, a 180 minutes ETOPS covers a lot of routes over the oceans. I fly over the Atlantic quite regularly and one of the possible diversions I used to rely on in the Atlantic is Larges Airport in the Azores. It is only less than 120 minutes from my usual route across to Europe.

If it makes you feel any better, just last month, a United Airlines Boeing 777 from Auckland to San Francisco shut down one of its engines due to a mechanical problem and flew for 192 minutes on single engine to land safely at Kona Airport in the Hawaiian Islands. It exceeded the 180 minutes ETOPS limits by 12 minutes because of strong headwind. According to Boeing, this is a record for a passenger plane limping on one engine!

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sabharwal
I just saw a video in which one engine of a Boeing aircraft got sheared off during take off and it could not be stabilized.

What I feel is whether it would be possible in future aircraft designs to handle such emergencies.

I believe that a flying saucer type of concept may become feasible a few decades ahead.

spsabharwal , 27 Jun, 2010

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