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julian2

Some ETOPS questions

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Hello,

 

I was planning a flight from OMDB to YSSY on Simbrief including ETOPS with the 777. There are some things that I dont understand and maybe someone can help me with that.

 

At first there is the ETOPS entry point. In this case it ist 60 minutes flighttime from OOMS. Is that correct? How do I program that point in my FMC? What exactly does it mean when I pass that ETOPS entry point? Does it mean in case of an emergency I divert to the first ETOPS alternate VCBI in this case even if OOMS airport is closer?

 

The next point is the ETP1. Am I right that this is the point where I decide wether to go to back to VCBI or continue to WADD in case of an emergency? What I understand there is that just in case of an emergency near ETP1 I have more big airports closer to my flightpath than VCBI and WADD. For example Singapore or Kuala Lumpur are in my opinion very close to ETP1 than why should I fly to VCBI or WADD?

 

Here you can find an image of my flightplan. Thank you very much for helping me to understand this.

 

Julian

 

14csf49.jpg

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t first there is the ETOPS entry point. In this case it ist 60 minutes flighttime from OOMS. Is that correct? How do I program that point in my FMC? What exactly does it mean when I pass that ETOPS entry point? Does it mean in case of an emergency I divert to the first ETOPS alternate VCBI in this case even if OOMS airport is closer?

 

You should really go through Tutorial 1 because it covers all of this, but I'll re-write what's already been written offer some help until you do so:

 

The ETOPS entry point simply denotes the point at which you must adhere to ETOPS regulations and procedures (whatever those might be for your area of the world).

 

You depict this on the ND (nav display) by going to the fix page, entering the airport as a fix, and then entering /420 (approx. one hour of flight time, converted to distance, in the 777) on one of the three blank CRS/DIST lines below it.  Do the same for the exit point on another FIX page.

 

Your ETP is entered in long form on one of the other FIX pages as (in your case): S0130.3E09730.7 (no CRS/DIST required for this one)

 

 

 


Am I right that this is the point where I decide wether to go to back to VCBI or continue to WADD in case of an emergency? What I understand there is that just in case of an emergency near ETP1 I have more big airports closer to my flightpath than VCBI and WADD. For example Singapore or Kuala Lumpur are in my opinion very close to ETP1 than why should I fly to VCBI or WADD?

 

ETP simply denotes the equal time point between the two airports that make up your ETOPS segment.  If something were to happen, you would divert to the best field that makes sense (remember that most regulatory bodies grant pilots very wide discretion in emergencies - the FAA, as an example, essentially allows them any discretion necessary to handle the emergency at hand, which would include landing at whatever field deemed appropriate).

 

Looking at your map, it looks like it's trying to force you into a single ETOPS segment, when in reality the flight would be flown with a couple smaller ETOPS segments, but I think that's because SimBrief (albeit powerful) isn't intended for higher-order things like that.  That being said, there's no reason that the flight couldn't be operated like this.  It's perfectly acceptable.

 

TL;DR:

The ETP is simply there to denote equal time between your ETOPS entry and exit airports.  If nothing else were available, if something happened before the ETP, you would return to the entry airport; after, continue to the exit.

 

 

 

For a more in-depth (and pictorial) example of the above, please read Tutorial 1 that came with the aircraft.

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Great summary by Kyle,

 

With regards to the ENTRY and EXIT points, as Kyle mentioned entering the Airport ICAO on a FIX page and then line selecting the 60 minute distance /420 (the point at which the 420nm arc ring intersects your route is the ENTRY/EXIT point). Another way to display this on the ND, is by again line selecting the 60 minute distance, /420 for the associated ETOPS ENTRY and EXIT ICAO,  and then line selecting that entry. This will automatically put some numbers in your scratchpad which you can then enter directly into another FIX page. The FIX will be named ICAO01 and will show as such on the ND. (Repeat the same step for Exit point). Once done, you can delete the ICAO /420 entries on the fix pages.

 

Note, the 60 minute ENTRY and EXIT points depend on the company specific ETOPS rules, as do the specific ETOPS max. diversion distances. 

 

These can differ quite a bit between operators.

 

At Emirates for example, the 60 minute distance is  420nm. ETOPS 180: 1260nm and ETOPS 207: 1449nm.

 

At Cathay Pacific, 60 minute distance is 456nm. ETOPS 180: 1313nm and ETOPS 207: 1506nm.

 

Why the difference between two very experienced 777 operators?

 

Emirates uses 1 Engine Out LRC speeds for 777 ETOPS calculations, Cathay uses 1 Engine Out MCT (maximum continuous thrust) speeds for  ETOPS diversion. Hence the slightly greater max diversion distances. Note: this does not actually mean that Cathay will proceed to the ETOPS alternate at MCT speeds, it is merely what the aircraft is capable of and what they plan under.

 

Leo Cal

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Looking at your map, it looks like it's trying to force you into a single ETOPS segment, when in reality the flight would be flown with a couple smaller ETOPS segments, but I think that's because SimBrief (albeit powerful) isn't intended for higher-order things like that.  That being said, there's no reason that the flight couldn't be operated like this.  It's perfectly acceptable.

 

Kyle is correct, at the moment SimBrief only plans single ETOPS segments. This can be thought of as a "very conservative" approach, it's perfectly acceptable to do this but sometimes the same flight can also be achieved with multiple, smaller ETOPS segments. Different airlines have different policies when it comes to ETOPS.

 

 

Note, the 60 minute ENTRY and EXIT points depend on the company specific ETOPS rules, as do the specific ETOPS max. diversion distances. 

 

These can differ quite a bit between operators.

 

At Emirates for example, the 60 minute distance is  420nm. ETOPS 180: 1260nm and ETOPS 207: 1449nm.

 

At Cathay Pacific, 60 minute distance is 456nm. ETOPS 180: 1313nm and ETOPS 207: 1506nm.

 

Why the difference between two very experienced 777 operators?

 

Emirates uses 1 Engine Out LRC speeds for 777 ETOPS calculations, Cathay uses 1 Engine Out MCT (maximum continuous thrust) speeds for  ETOPS diversion. Hence the slightly greater max diversion distances. Note: this does not actually mean that Cathay will proceed to the ETOPS alternate at MCT speeds, it is merely what the aircraft is capable of and what they plan under.

 

Quite right. With regards to SimBrief, for the 777 series it uses 1 Engine Out MCT with a target speed of 320/0.84. In the event of an engine failure, the assumed procedure is that you will select MCT on the operating engine and gradually slow to 320kts/0.84M. Once you reach that speed, you begin a slow descent as required to hold 320/0.84. Eventually, you will reach an altitude where you will level off (that is to say, an altitude at which you can hold 320IAS at 1EO MCT without having to descend further). This procedure is known as a "single engine driftdown". You will then cruise at 320 IAS to an ETOPS suitable airport.

 

Because your single engine ceiling varies according to your aircraft weight, so too will your diversion TAS, and in turn your area of operation around your ETOPS entry and exit airports. For SimBrief's 320IAS 1EO diversion schedule, you can reference the following tables to find the applicable area of operation (in nautical miles):

 

B77L:

WEIGHT |                     TIME(min)
 (kg)  | 60  75  90  120 138  180  207  240  270  300  330
-------|---------------------------------------------------
360000 | 428 532 636 844 969  1261 1448 1677 1886 2094 2302
320000 | 441 548 656 871 1000 1301 1494 1731 1946 2161 2376
280000 | 455 565 675 895 1028 1336 1534 1777 1997 2217 2438
240000 | 467 581 694 922 1058 1376 1580 1830 2058 2285 2512
200000 | 477 594 711 944 1084 1411 1621 1878 2112 2345 2579
160000 | 482 600 719 956 1099 1431 1644 1905 2142 2380 2617

B77W:

WEIGHT |                     TIME(min)
(kg)   | 60  75  90  120 138  180  207  240  270  300  330
-------|---------------------------------------------------
360000 | 425 529 632 839 963  1252 1438 1665 1872 2079 2285
320000 | 439 545 652 865 993  1291 1483 1718 1931 2144 2357
280000 | 450 559 668 885 1016 1321 1517 1757 1974 2192 2410
240000 | 462 574 686 910 1044 1358 1559 1806 2030 2254 2478
200000 | 472 587 702 933 1071 1393 1600 1853 2083 2313 2543
160000 | 477 595 712 946 1086 1414 1625 1883 2117 2351 2585

In your case, to draw the range circle around your ETOPS entry airport you would reference the OFP to determine the weight at entry. Then, reference the 60 minutes column of the above graph to determine the distance for that weight. I don't know if pilots do this in real life, or if they simply use an "average" distance to save the hassle of looking into the charts. Maybe Kyle or someone else can enlighten me here. It should also be noted that the whole driftdown procedure only applies to a simple engine failure. In a decompression scenario, you'd obviously be performing an emergency descent to 10,000ft. SimBrief plans a 320kt cruise in decompression scenarios as well.

 

The critical fuel required (PFOB on your SimBrief OFP) to divert from your ETP to either ETOPS suitable airport is the fuel required to reach the airport (either at 10,000 or your single engine ceiling if not depressurized), perform an IFR approach and go-around, perform a VFR landing, then fly 15 minutes at 1,500ft AFE. SimBrief calculates the critical fuel required for the 3 ETOPS scenarios (Engine Failure [1X], Depressurization [DC], and Engine Failure + Depressurization [DX]), then selects the scenario requiring the most fuel. For the 777, the chosen scenario is almost always [DX]. In the ETOPS section of the OFP you posted below, you can see it lists DX as the chosen scenario on the right of the ETP line. The associated PFOB figure is listed for each ETOPS suitable airport.

 

The standard LIDO layout you selected for your OFP only contains info for the most critical scenario. Some of the other OFP layouts list more scenarios in their ETOPS sections. IIRC, the Lufthansa layout (DLH) lists 2 scenarios, and the Emirates layout (UAE) lists all 3.

 

A final note: As others have already stated, all of this is for planning and theoretic purposes ONLY. The OFP is calculated and the flight is released using the above scenarios and speed schedules, but once in the air, everything is at the captain's discretion. I would say that if you are going to divert to another airport than planned, you'd better make sure you have the required fuel and weather at that airport. Otherwise you'll have some explaining to do to management. ^_^

 

If I've made a mistake in any of the above, someone please correct me!

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Hello,

 

I was planning a flight from OMDB to YSSY on Simbrief including ETOPS with the 777. There are some things that I dont understand and maybe someone can help me with that.

 

At first there is the ETOPS entry point. In this case it ist 60 minutes flighttime from OOMS. Is that correct? How do I program that point in my FMC? What exactly does it mean when I pass that ETOPS entry point? Does it mean in case of an emergency I divert to the first ETOPS alternate VCBI in this case even if OOMS airport is closer?

 

The next point is the ETP1. Am I right that this is the point where I decide wether to go to back to VCBI or continue to WADD in case of an emergency? What I understand there is that just in case of an emergency near ETP1 I have more big airports closer to my flightpath than VCBI and WADD. For example Singapore or Kuala Lumpur are in my opinion very close to ETP1 than why should I fly to VCBI or WADD?

 

Here you can find an image of my flightplan. Thank you very much for helping me to understand this.

 

Julian

 

14csf49.jpg

 

-After you pass the ETOPS entry point the flight is now ETOPS and there is no suatible airports in a 60 min flight time.from the ETOPS entry point untill the ETOPS exit point this is called the ETOPS SEGMENT. Based on the 777,  a 60 min flying time with 1 eng out is 415 TAS which equals 430nm of range. You can enter the ETOPS alternate airport in the FMC FIX page and than enter 430nm it will give you the circle in the ND, so you can now see the ETOPS SEGMENT where it starts while flying. the ETP ( Equal time point ) also called CP ( critcal point ) it assumes the worst case scenario and it gives approx the same flying time to the 2 airports from this point. Based on the OFP you can either go to CMB or MCT. You must understand the OFP is the worst case scenario  and the PIC have the right to divert to any airport as long as it is sutibale even if its not in the OFP. if you want more and offical sources just pm me.

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Route 2 can also come in handy for alternative planning and ETP´s, ETOPS entry´s and exit along the route it self.

 

If you put in your last 60 minute airport as departure and your alternative destination you will get more information provided on the ND in pln mode. Just remember to put the alternative route in at last (after a discontinued for instance)

 

 

Michael 

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At first there is the ETOPS entry point. In this case it ist 60 minutes flighttime from OOMS. Is that correct? How do I program that point in my FMC?

If you're over 60 minutes flying time from a suitable airport (and in a two engine aircraft, obviously) then you're doing an ETOPS flight so if OOMS really is the nearest suitable then yes, it probably is the ETOPS entry point (although I've never heard of an ETOPS entry point).

 

You could put OOMS in the FIX page and then a 60nm ring around it but why would you care?

 

What exactly does it mean when I pass that ETOPS entry point?

Nothing.

 

Does it mean in case of an emergency I divert to the first ETOPS alternate VCBI in this case even if OOMS airport is closer?

No, you always divert to the airfield you (as the crew) deem most suitable, that goes for every single flight you ever make, commercial, private, ETOPS, Polar.

 

The next point is the ETP1. Am I right that this is the point where I decide wether to go to back to VCBI or continue to WADD in case of an emergency?

Kind of, as others have already mentioned, it's an Equal Time Point between VCBI and WADD, meaning it's the point at which it takes the same amount of time to fly to either (taking winds into account but not the 180 turn you'd need to do to go to VCBI).

 

What I understand there is that just in case of an emergency near ETP1 I have more big airports closer to my flightpath than VCBI and WADD. For example Singapore or Kuala Lumpur are in my opinion very close to ETP1 than why should I fly to VCBI or WADD?

Firstly, as previously mentioned, you should always fly to the airport you believe to be most suitable in case of any emergency, if VCBI or WADD are the most suitable, go there, if it's WSSS then do that.

 

The plan that you're showing us is a classic ETOPS plan, they've found some suitable airports that enable you to fly the route they want you to fly and it meets all the ETOPS criteria so it's released. It's just showing you that it's legally possible to fly that route, most of the ETOPS detail is pretty irrelevant in this case as there are many other airports you could divert to that they haven't included (VABB, WSSS, WIII, WMKK, YPDN). Maybe the weather isn't suitable to use them as proper ETOPS alternates but that doesn't mean when you're actually doing the flight you can't use them if you need to (and the weather is good enough to get in obviously).

 

Don't forget ETOPS is just a planning exercise, once you start the flight anything goes. If you have a problem and the best option is to divert to WSSS then you do it, as I said earlier, the plan is merely one suggestion that proves the flight can be done legally, as the pilot it's up to you to ensure the safety of the aircraft and you're given a pretty broad scope to do that, it's why you get paid the big bucks... well, the average bucks... oh OK, we do it for the love of our passengers! B)

 

Most of the ETOPS I do is across the North Atlantic and we are usually given Shannon and Gander as our ETOPS airports. However, we usually have a look at Kef, Lajes, Goose, St Johns, Narsarsuaq and Stephenville and sometimes even plot the ETPs for them on the chart (even though they're not the nominated ETOPS alternates) as they're usually closer in the event of a fire or smoke.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Ian

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Ian makes a good point. A diversion to Shannon or Gander is preferred because the company has already made arrangements for such an event and the customers will be taken care of; however, if you have smoke in the plane then the nearest runway is much preferred and there is no discussion we are going there now.

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