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Postby jarheadpilot82 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:14 pm

Gentlemen (and Amy, of course),

A couple of points to clarify-

1. It was most likely a 757-200ER that Amy flew in. Only 2 Air Lines have 757-300's. Northwest (now Delta) and Continental (now United). I doubt from a dollar standpoint that the loads from the East coast to Portugal would justify the extra seating a -300 affords. Delta typically flies the 757-300 on high traffic loads like transcons out to the left coast. Delta flies 757-200ERs to close-in Western Europe as well as West Africa. I imagine United does the same.
2. The ER designation is an engine reliability program, not an airframe program. For example, an airline could have a 180 ETOPS aircraft, but if it receives a certain level of reliability issues (i.e., x number of inflight shutdowns per 100,000 hours, for example), they could have their ETOPS certification reduced to, say, a 120 minute ETOPS. That would require longer flights going further north to stay 120 minutes from alternates. 180 would allow shorter routes out over the water. In other words, time savings which translates to fuel savings, thus dollar savings. ETOPS does require some additional electrical system backups (hydraulic motor generators, or HMG's)
3. Among the gallows humor crowd of pilots, ETOPS really stands for Engines Turnin' Or People Swimmin'.
Semper Fi,

Terry Hand
Athens, GA

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