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Home > ETOPS > Flying over the Ocean
Flying over the Ocean
Flying - ETOPS
Written by Capt Lim   
Monday, 28 January 2013 03:09

Air Berlin A330 pushing back at Berlin Airport
 
Hi Captain,

I'm so confused over this issue of transatlantic flights. I was told jet airliners must stay within 170 miles of land when flying from the USA to Europe but then I was told that the jets that have more than 2 engines can fly over the ocean without being close to land.

However, I flew from Berlin to Miami on Air Berlin and this jet only had 2 engines on the wings! However the pilot took a course way over the Atlantic crossing Bermuda instead of hugging the Iceland/Greenland and Newfoundland coasts.

Can you explain why they approved this route almost directly over the Atlantic over 1000 miles from land?

I was monitoring the route throughout the flight and was quite apprehensive about this route with a 2 engine airliner.

Can you give me the skinny on this airline rule of transatlantic flights?

Thank You.

Sam Lombardi

Hi Sam,

Perhaps you have not been given the correct information about flying a twin-engine plane over the ocean. I have recently written an article in the Air Asia in-flight magazine precisely explaining the rules of ETOPS (Extended Twin Engine Operations) for those who are having a vague knowledge on this topic.

Please read this article titled Coast Huggers and Curved Routes.

Hope you enjoy reading it and many other air travel articles in Pilots Perspective here

PS. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my new Twitter at @CaptKHLim


Air Berlin A330 taking off from Miami

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