HOME PAGE - - IMPORTANT AIRLINE SAFETY ISSUE
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TO ALL AIRLINE PASSENGERS AND OTHERS INTERESTED IN AIRLINE SAFETY
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ALERT - Danger of 2-Engine Airliner Over-Ocean Flights
xxx Because of the recent increase in the number of airliner engine failures, and, near ocean ditchings of passenger filled airliners , these webpages are an attempt to challenge the incredibly powerful airline lobby, and, to convince federal airline regulators to re-instate the former FAA requirement that airliners, crossing vast expanses of open oceans, must have 3 or 4 engines, which have the necessary engine and system redundancy required for maximum passenger and crew safety on these long over-ocean flights, and, to abandon the current cost-cutting and dangerous airline policy of using airliners, having only 2 engines, which, as the many recent engine failures prove, lack the sufficient engine and system redundancy needed for passenger and crew safety on these long over-ocean flights. ----------------------------------------------------
***I believe the information, contained in this website, if read to the end, will convince any objective person that this 2-engine over-ocean policy is a very serious and valid airline safety issue which should be re-evaluated by the Federal Aviation Administration, and, other international airline regulatory agencies, before a mid-ocean disaster occurs.
xxx It is this alarming increase in the number of recently occurring airliner engine failures, listed below, including mid-ocean engine failures, which have caused close-call passenger filled airliner ocean ditchings, which has prompted this effort to return to the previous 4-engine safety standards for extended over-ocean passenger flights.
PREFACE / SYNOPSIS
xxx My name is Al "Ace" Material. I live in Las Vegas. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ----------------------------------------------------
***I am a retired airline/corporate (ATP) pilot with over 50 years and many thousands of hours of multi-engine flying experience
in piston, Turbo-prop, and high altitude corporate jets.
***I have also authored aviation books which are available thru Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com
***I received my Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) in 1973, and spent the next
several years flying in the high-density airspace over the Northeast US, including extensive operations in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC airspace.
***During my years as a commercial pilot, I have experienced 2 engine failures.
***Also, because of my many years as a corporate pilot, and my close associations with many "Fortune 500" corporate executives and government regulators, I have become very familiar with the corporate/government relationship.
**For these reasons, I feel I am entitled to, and qualified to, express the following opinions.
**2 Years ago, I started AIRLINE SAFETY.
xxx For these 2 difficult years, I have been on, what has become, a "Mission" to eliminate, what any sane, and knowledgeable aviation executive, government official, and, any competent and conscientious pilot, is fully aware of, is a critical airline safety issue, which has substantially compromised the previously very high airline safety standards regarding extended over-ocean air travel, and, which is perpetuated on the innocent flying public by profit-obsessed airline excecutives, thru their powerful lobby, who have convinced the US FAA & NTSB and other international aviation regulatory agencies to allow this profit motivated and obviously dangerous reduction of over-ocean airline safety standards.
***I believe the danger of these 2-engine extended over-ocean passenger flights is being hidden from the flying public.
***That is why I have expended an enormous amount of time and effort in researching this issue and preparing these documents, and, presenting this
information to various government officials and airline executives, in the hopes that they will re-consider this obviously dangerous 2-engine over-water
policy, (which will be explained, in detail, below).
***I have no personal animosity toward any company, company executive, politician, nor, government agency, nor, am I seeking any personal financial
gain from this endeavour.
***This website is "Ad-free". AIRLINE SAFETY receives no income from this website, nor, as a result of this effort.
***In fact, AIRLINE SAFETY has spent considerable resources in obtaining the domains, secure websites, internet hosting services, and, social media advertising programs.
***This is because, as stated above, I believe that innocent passenger lives are at risk, and, as I approach the end of a life-long membership in the aviation community, and, as a final contribution to the world of aviation, I feel I must make my best effort to help prevent an airline disaster, which I believe, is waiting to happen.
***I believe that any truly objective person, after reading the following pages, will come to the same conclusion as to the obvious danger of 2-engine extended over-ocean passenger flights.
***This 6 page Report, along with the 14 page Report submitted to the NTSB & the FAA, contain my opinions of this critical 2-engine airliner over-ocean policy. ----------------------------------------------------
xxx This internet "Landing Page" is a synopsis of a 14 page, and, much more detailed, Safety Report, I have submitted to the National Transportation & Safety Board, (NTSB), and, to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in which I express my opinions of the dangerous airline switch from the previous FAA requirement that airliners, used on extended over-ocean flights, must have 3 or 4 engines, to the current cost-cutting/profit-motivated policy of using airliners having only 2 engines, which are cheaper for the airlines to operate, but, lack the previously required engine and system redundancy needed on these extended over-ocean passenger flights - - ---------------------------------------------------------------
- - x an obviously dangerous situation of which the NTSB and the FAA are fully aware of, but, are allowing, in order to accomodate the airline industry, the airplane manufacturers, such as Boeing and Airbus, and, their powerful lobbies.
xxx For aviation professionals, aviation enthusiasts, or, all others interested in airline safety issues, please continue reading this 6 page abbreviated report, and/or, review the much more detailed aviation safety information contained in the attached NTSB Report, (see: link to NTSB Report at the bottom of this page) before agreeing/disagreeing/defending/condoning/ignoring, this obvious profit motivated and safety reducing 2-engine airliner over-ocean policy, which was prohibited by previous FAA regulations, and, which has caused many recent "close-call" catastrophic ocean-ditchings of passenger filled airliners.
xxx I challenge anyone, either aviation professionals, (including pilots), airplane manufacturers, airline executives, government regulators, aviation enthusiasts, or, anyone else, to find any statements in this Report which are not 100% accurate.
xxx Continue reading for a detailed description of this dangerous situation.
xxx Several decades ago, the University of Chicago economist George Stigler pointed out that the problem with regulation is that the regulatory agencies are sooner or later captured by the regulated industry and become servants of the industries they were created to regulate. ----------------------------------------------------
xxx (The Air Transport industry, thru their various lobbys, is one of the largest financial "donors" to the US Senate and House of Representatives, contributing over one-hundred & four million dollars ($104,000,000 - plus other "perks"), to various government officials, in 2019.)
xxx The critical airline safety issue, which is the subject of this Report, concerns the irresponsible and dangerous airline money-saving policy switch from the previous FAA requirement that airliners, crossing vast expanses of open ocean, must have at least 3 or 4 engines, to the new cost-cutting FAA policy which now allows the airlines to use airliners having only 2-engines on these long over-ocean passenger flights.
xxx In the past, these former 3 or 4 engine airliners provided the necessary multiple engine and system redundancy needed to provide airline passengers and crews with the maximum safety possible on these long over-ocean flights, which take these airliners many miles, and many hours, away from the nearest land.
xxx My efforts to correct this dangerous situation are being fiercly opposed by the powerful airline lobby, and publically ignored and/or hidden by the FAA, and, by the NTSB, with the assistance from a compliant media. Page 1 of 6
xxx (A few years ago, after intensive lobbying by the airline industry, the FAA created a controversial money/fuel-saving program called "ETOPS" (Extended Twin-engine Operation Procedures Standards), which allowed, for the first time, and contrary to specific FAA prohibitions in effect at that time, the airlines to switch from the previous FAA requirement that only airliners having 3 or 4 engines could be used on extended over-ocean passenger flights, to the cost-cutting/fuel-saving policy of using airliners having only 2 engines on these very long and isolated over-ocean passenger flights.
xxx The ETOPS Program was implemented in an attempt to give legitimacy to this dangerous and previously prohibited 2-engine policy.
xxx The need for this extremely complicated ETOPS engine-failure diversion program actually proves that the FAA, and the airlines, are fully aware of the obvious danger of using airliners having only 2 engines on extended over-ocean passenger flights, and, therefore, the need for them to fabricate some sort of official looking/sounding justification for this reduction of over-ocean safety standards.
xxx ETOPS consists of very complicated engine-out procedures, useless graphs and charts, and ridiculous "3-hour 1-engine over-ocean diversion flight rings" - - none of which come anywhere close to compensating for the enormous risk of ETOPS 2-engine extended over-ocean passenger flights - - and, none of which were necessary before ETOPS.
xxx ETOPS was obviously created to give the federal regulators and airline executives something to hide behind in order to protect themselves from any corporate, and/or personal liability for any airline disasters which may be the result of these money-saving/profit-motivated, and, previously-prohibited, and, now, ETOPS-justified, 2-engine over-ocean passenger flights.
xxx When the ETOPS Program was begun, and, because of the inevitability of future over-ocean engine failures, the maximum over-water distance that a 2-engine airliner was allowed to be from a diversion airport was 1 hour.
xxx Also, at the inception of the ETOPS Program, the FAA required an additional inspection, by an FAA certified mechanic, of 2-engine airliners, prior to each extended over-ocean flight.
xxx The FAA requiring these additional pre-flight inspections was another "Un-official Acknowledgment" of the obvious risk of extended over-ocean passenger flights using airliners having only 2 engines, and, the need for these additional mechanical inspections, prior to each extended over-ocean flight.
xxx However, this inspection requirement, which was initially used to "sell" the ETOPS Program, was soon cancelled by the FAA.
xxx The reason given by the FAA for cancelling this inspection requirement was that it was "Too burdensome on the airlines".
xxx Then, of course, the FAA, after more "Pressure" from the airline lobby, and, without public knowledge, nor, input, allowed the airlines to gradually - little by little - increase the ETOPS Program's previous 1-hour from land restriction that 2-engine airliners are permitted to fly -- first to 2 hours -- next to 3 hours -- next -- to 4 hours -- then 5 hours.
xxx The money-hungry/profit-seeking airlines keep pushing and streching the limits of airline safety and normal human common sense, and now, in spite of the many recently occurring airliner engine failures, and, in spite of the very uncertain flight capabilities of these very large 2-engine airliners, when operating with only 1 engine, (see: United Airlines Flight #1175 Engine-failure Incident), the FAA, incredibly, has recently allowed the 2-engine Airbus A350 XWB to fly extended over-ocean routes which take these passenger filled airliners over 6 hours away from the closest diversion airport.
xxx These trans-oceanic airline passengers are completely unaware of the increasing danger they are being subjected to by these constantly increasing distances from land that 2-engine airliners are permitted to fly.
xxx Considering the alarming increase in the number of recent airliner engine failures, the FAA allowng the airlines to subject the unknowing and trusting flying public to this obvious risk shows the incredible power the airline lobby has over government regulators.
xxx The huge volumes of totally irrelevant ETOPS justification documents, and, extremely complex engine-failure , (1-engine), diversion procedures, published by the FAA, citing deceptive engine-failure statistics, (none of which were necessary before ETOPS), seem to indicate that the FAA, and the airlines, in spite of the increasing number of recent ETOPS certified airliner engine failures, continue to believe the ridiculous concept that volumes of ETOPS documents can actually prevent jet engines from failing, (even though these engines may be many years old, and, operate under tremendous stresses and temperature extremes), and, therefore, the more written paper documents they publish, the more unlikely an airliner engine will fail, and, the more ETOPS documents they publish, the more their asses will be covered should a catastrophic airliner ocean ditching occur after an engine failure.
xxx Of course, this is money-motivated nonsense, and, a money-motivated deception, not only to the flying public, but, apparently, also to themselves.
xxx Regardless of the illusion that a multitude of paper documents (ETOPS) can transform an obviously dangerous policy into a safe policy, prevent engine failures, and, eliminate corporate civil and criminal liabilities, many of the recently occurring engine failures, as mentioned above, have actually involved ETOPS certified airliners, regardless of the volumes of irrelevant and deceptive FAA documentation pertaining to the "Probability" of engine failures.
xxx Any rational and realistic person knows that an airliner jet engine, like any other man-made machine, as recent history has shown, can fail at any time, and, for a multitude of different reasons, and, that paper ETOPS justification documents, regardless of how many, cannot prevent these complex, and, highly stressed, airliner engines from failing.
xxx That is why, in the past, more safety conscious airlines and government regulators required that only airliners having 3 or 4 engines, which had multiple engine redundancy for maximum safety when many hours from land, could be used on extended over-ocean passenger flights.
xxx In creating ETOPS, the FAA, and the airlines, relied on sales-motivated assurances from the aircraft manufacturers that these huge 500,000 pound 2-engine airliners were capable of flying long over-ocean distances with only 1 operating engine.
xxx However, there are many important factors conveniently missing from these manufacturer's
1-engine performance figures, and, also missing from other deceptive ETOPS diversion documents.
SUCH AS - - -
- - - - the fact that the manufacturers 1-engine flight testing was done under controlled flight conditions, and, could not have taken into consideration all the possible additional and unanticipated aircraft damage that an explosive and uncontained engine failure could create, and, which could result in these huge 500,000 pound airliners being unable to maintain altitude/flight with only 1 engine, (which was exactly what occurred on Hawaii-bound United Airlines Flight #1175, a 2-engine Boeing 777, which, after an explosive engine failure, which caused other unanticipated aircraft damage and aerodynamic problems, was unable to maintain altitude with the insufficient power provided by the only remaining operating engine, and, which nearly caused this airliner to ditch into the Pacific Ocean.
xxx This incident completely obliterates the entire ETOPS sham.
xxx Fortunately, the airplane was not mid-ocean, and, was only 30 minutes from Honolulu and was able to make a terrifying 1-engine assisted glide the remaining short distance to the Honolulu Airport.
xxx This was an extremely close-call which almost killed 381 innocent passengers.
xxx (see: above UAL Flight #1175 link for details on this incident.)
- - - - the fact that after an engine failure, the aircraft, because of the loss of sufficient engine thrust needed for high-altitude flight, would have to descend, from the clear air at higher altitudes, down into possible unforecast and severe weather conditions, which could be present at lower altitudes, such as severe turbulence, icing conditions, thunderstorms, heavy rain, and, hail, (which could severely damage the only operating engine), or, the crippled aircraft could encounter these severe weather conditions while enroute during a long 5-6 hour 1-engine low altitude diversion flight, which could prevent a landing at the diversion airport.
- - - - The fact that The loss of 1 engine-driven generator, would result in the reduction of available electrical energy to vital equipment, such as the di-icing equipment, weather avoidance radar, complex navigation and communication systems, landing and anti-collision lights, fuel heaters and pumps, cabin environmental systems, and, many other things.
** (After the loss of one engine and its electrical generator, pilots, while struggling with the considerable aerodynamic and other problems
associated with the engine failure, must also react very quickly to shut down some of the electrical systems, mentioned above, in order to avoid extreme electrical
over-load damage, and possible failure, of the generator on the
1 remaining engine.)
- - - - The fact that, after the failure of 1 engine, the airliner would lose 1 engine-driven hydraulic pump, needed for landing gear/ flaps/slats/speed-brakes/thrust reversers, and, other important systems.
- - - - the fact that the ETOPS diversion rules are based on the time it would take for a 2-engine airliner, operating with only 1 engine, to reach a diversion airport -- however, the ETOPS 3-hour maximum time limit, (already a dangerously long time for a passenger filled airliner to be operating mid-ocean with only 1 engine), completely ignores the possibility of unforcast headwinds, which would significantly increase the time required to reach a far away diversion airport, well beyond the 3-hour limit - - which, in addition to the aforementioned danger, could seriously deplete the fuel supply (Jet engines use considerably more fuel at lower altitudes).
- - - - the possibility that some other unforseen and/or unanticipated circumstances may develop while enroute to a remote and isolated mid-ocean diversion airport, which could prevent a landing upon arrival.
- - - - and, of course, the possibility that the only remaining, and, now overworked, engine, may also fail during a long diversion flight, which would result a passenger filled airliner ditching into the ocean. .
xxx That is why, in the past, in order to provide for any of these possible critical situations, and, because there are so many other unforeseen and unanticipated problems which could befall an already crippled airliner, and, in order to provide the maximum possible safety and engine redundancy for airline passengers and crews on extended over-ocean flights, previous federal regulations required that only airliners having 3 or 4 engines, which could more easily cope with with engine failure(s), or, other unanticipated problems, as described above, could be used on these extended trans-oceanic passenger flights.
***We all know that there is a certain amount of unavoidable risk involved in any sort of travel, but, I believe it is unconscionable for the
airlines to intentionally, and, knowingly, increase the risk to their passengers and crews, in order to save money.
xxx I believe that the only practical and useful value of these ETOPS justification documents is that they do provide some extra toilet paper for these profit-obsessed airline executives and government regulators.
xxx In my opinion, ETOPS is, and, has been, a constantly increasing danger to the unknowing, unsuspecting, and trusting flying public, which requires a thorough and objective investigation and re-evaluation by the NTSB, and, by the FAA, before a disastrous airliner ocean ditching occurs, which would certainly kill hundreds of unsuspecting and innocent passengers, including the many children and infants aboard these airliners). Page 2 of 6
xxx NOTE - - British trans-Atlantic oceanliners operated for many-many years in total compliance with an obviously insane British maritime regulation which allowed these large passenger ships, contrary to obvious common sense, to sail without the sufficient number of lifeboats necessary to accommodate the total number of passengers which may be aboard these liners.--------------------------------------------
xxx The executives of the White Star Line, and, the British government regulators, for economic reasons, or, maybe because they were just plain stupid, ignored this obviously dangerous situation for a long time.
xxx However, after allowing oceanliners to sail, without incident, for many-many years, without the sufficient number of lifeboats, one cold night, in 1912, the Titanic, on its maiden voyage, had an unexpected encounter with an iceberg.
xxx The result is history.
xxx Ignoring obvious - common sense - safety issues, by the White Star Line, resulted in the deaths of over 1500 innocent passengers and crew members, and, put the White Star Line out of business.
xxx Can anyone see the parallels here ? ? ?
xxx Events like this, including the creation of ETOPS, teach us that we must think for ourselves, as government regulators, and, airline "Big-shots", may not be as smart as they think they are, and, not as smart as many citizens think they are.
xxx History has shown us, that, sooner or later, ignoring of obvious and dangerous safety issues ultimately results in catastropic accidents, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people.
***Throughout the history of commercial airline operations, the FAA, the NTSB, and, the airlines, have have made extraordinary efforts, regardless of cost, to improve the safety of airline travel.--------------------------------------------
***However, the current money-saving policy of reducing the number of airliner engines, on extended over-ocean flights, from the previous 3 or 4 engine requirement, down to now only 2 engines, may be the first time, in the history of commercial airline operations, that these federal agencies and airline companys have actually and intentionally reduced the safety of airline passengers in order to reduce their operating costs and increase profits.
xxx For those of us old enough to remember, this frenzy toward the use of 2-engine airliners is a direct result of the false belief, in the 1970's, and 1980's, that the world's oil supply was running out.
xxx (During that panic, we can also recall the long lines at gas stations, the torturous, and strictly enforced, 55 MPH speed limit on Interstate Highways, the rush to buy wood-burning stoves to heat our homes, and, the desperate search for other alternate sources of energy).
xxx The hasty switch to 2-engine airliners, supposedly, in order to conserve the dwindling oil supply, has proven to be unnecessary, as there are now more known oil reserves on/under the Earth than ever before.
xxx This switch to 2-engine airliners was motivated by this false belief that the world's oil supply was running out, and, therefore, the switch to fuel-saving 2-engine airliners, for use on extended over-ocean flights, was, at that time, not motivated by the price of jet fuel, but, instead, was motivated by the fear that the world's oil supply would soon be gone.
xxx Because there is now plenty of oil, and oil reserves, the continued use of these dangerous
2-engine airliners on long over-ocean flights, can no longer be justified by the fear of oil shortages, and, is now motivated solely by the profit motivated "GREED" of airline executives.
xxx Once these greedy airline executives, along with their penny-pinching accountants, seeking increased profits for their stockholders, and, increased performance bonuses for themselves, tasted and savored the addictive fuel-saving/money-saving abilities of 2-engine airliners, the frenzy was on to acquire more and more of these 2-engine airliners, and to collectively pretend they were unaware of the dangers they were subjecting their passengers and crews to, on extended over-ocean flights.
xxx (Ironically, for the airlines, with the incredible increase in the fuel efficiency of modern state-of-the-art jet engines, a 3 or 4 engine airliner, using these high-tech new engines, would probably actually use the same, or, even less fuel, than a 2-engine airliner of 20 or 30 years ago).
xxx But, unfortunatly for the flying public, this "Money lusting", cost-saving, and, the continuing acquisition and glorification of more and more 2-engine airliners, such as the 2-engine Boeing 787 "Dreamliner", and Airbus 2-engine airliners, seems to be irreversible, regardless of the obvious dangers of these 2-engine airliner over-ocean flights.
*** (Pilots are obviously aware of this 2-engine over-ocean safety issue, but, being in much better physical condition than helpless children and elderly or disabled passengers, and probably being prepared in advance with an escape plan in case of a possible ocean ditching, I believe they may think they have at least a decent chance of surviving an ocean ditching, and, therefore, in order to keep their glamorous and well-paying jobs, pilots accept this risk, betray their trusting passengers, and, remain silent on this critical 2-engine safety issue.
** Human nature being what it is, this can be compared to doctors and other medical professionals, in order to keep their jobs, and for money, witholding alternate and proven effective medications for treating various medical afflictions.)
** I'm a pilot, too, and, I know how pilot's think.
** A copy of this NTSB Report was sent to the President of the Airline Pilot's Association, Capt. Jason Ambrosi, and to, Ms. Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, so far, without acknowledgement.
**Their silence on this important safety issue makes one wonder who these union leaders are actually more loyal to, their union members, or, the airline industry.
xxx Considering the many recent airliner engine-failures, and, "Close-call" airliner ocean ditchings, which have occurred using these very large 2-engine airliners, and, because of their very uncertain and proven to be unreliable single-engine flight capabilities after the failure of 1 engine - see: ( see: UAL 1175 Engine-failure Incident), it is obvious that this cost-cutting airline policy switch from 4-engine airliners, to very large airliners having only 2 engines, which carry 400 - 500 innocent, trusting, and, unknowing passengers, on extended over-ocean flights, does not provide the adequate safety margins previously required by federal regulations for these extended over-ocean passenger flights.
xxx In my opinion, these many recently reported airliner engine failures confirm that this obviously irresponsible and dangerous decision to use 2-engine airliners, on extended over-ocean passenger flights, is a valid airline safety issue which must be addressed before, not after, a catastrophic airliner ocean ditching occurs, which would certainly kill many hundreds of innocent passengers.
xxx However, I don't believe this safety issue will ever be publicly debated, or, even openly discussed, because officials at the NTSB, the FAA, the airlines, and, (sadly), even the pilots, know that the statements made in this report are indisputable, and, have no credible counter-arguments.
xxx This is because, considering the enormous financial committment the airlines have made, in purchasing many hundreds of 2-engine Airbus and Boeing airliners, which are now being used on extended over-ocean flights, it would appear that changing this current committment of using 2-engine airliners, back to 3 or 4 engine airliners, would be an almost insurmountable task for the airlines.
xxx Therefore, the large number of recently reported airliner engine failures has placed the airline industry in the proverbial situation of being between a rock and a hard place, for which there seems to be no solution, except continuing with this dangerous policy of using airliners having only 2 engines on extended over-ocean flights, continuing to hide this danger from the flying public, continuing "Whistling past the graveyard", and, continuing to just "Hope and pray" that a catastrophic airliner ditching, which would certainly kill hundreds of innocent passengers and crew members, will not occur after a mid-ocean engine failure.
xxx Is this any way to run an airline ? ?
xxx For those dillusional people who still have "Complete confidence" in the reliability of airliner engines - see below - - - ------------------------------------
NOTE -- Aug. 12, 2023 - Pratt & Whitney has announced an emergency inspection of 1,200 PW 1100G jet engines due to microscopic cracks, causing operational disruptions for airlines worldwide.
xxx This engine issue has significant impacts on airlines currently using this engine, including Jet Blue, Spirit, and, also, Hawaiian Airlines, which uses these engines on its 2-engine Airbus airliners on the 2500 mile over-ocean flights from the US to Hawaii.
xxx September 1, 2023 - The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has discovered that a London-based company, AOG Technics, allegedly provided "Uncertified/counterfeit" parts for the repair of aircraft engines used in many Airbus and Boeing jets, according to a report by Bloomberg.------------------------------------
xxx London-based AOG Technics "Forged numerous" Authorised Release Certificates for components of the CFM56 high bypass turbofan, according to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
xxx The CFM56 powers many Airbus and Boeing aircraft including variants of the narrowbody Boeing 737, Airbus 320 airliners.
xxx Over 30,000 CFM56 engines have been built over its lengthy service life.
xxx It's unclear exactly how many of these aircraft engines have been illegally affected/infected with "Uncertified" parts.
xxx September 3, 2023- - Boeing 777 Engine Defect: FAA Proposes GE90 Airworthiness Directive - -------------------------------------
xxx General Electric's GE90 engine may be grounded in the US due to an iron inclusion defect that could cause uncontained debris release and damage to the engine.
xxx This GE GE90 engine may be the subject of a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule, potentially grounding any Boeing 777s powered by this turbofan engine in the United States.
xxx Similar powdered metal defects have affected other engine programs, including CFM International's Leap, and, Pratt & Whitney's PW1100G engines, as described above.
xxx September 11, 2023 - - Wizz Air has been forced to ground some of its planes and warned it would run fewer flights over Christmas after faults were uncovered in engines used by Airbus.
xxx Aerospace supplier RTX informed Wizz Air that it had detected issues with a certain engine manufactured by US aviation giant Pratt & Whitney.
xxx This engine is used in hundreds of Airbus SE A320neo aircraft and will see hundreds of planes grounded across the globe.
xxx RTX estimates that around 600 to 700 engines will have to be removed.
xxx This is why, in the past, airliners, carrying hundreds of passengers on extended over-ocean flights, were required to have multiple engine redundancy.
xxx For only a parcial list of the many other recent airliner engine failures, copy and paste the following URL into your browser - - -
copy & paste --- www.airlinesafetysolutions.com/enginefailures.html ---
xxx Fortunately, most of these many recently reported airliner engine failures occurred when these airliners were over, or, very close to land, and, therefore, were able to limp, with only 1 engine running, to a close-by airport.
xxx Those aboard these disabled airliners were lucky these engine-failures did not occur when these airliners were isolated and all alone, in the middle of the ocean, and several miles and several hours from land. Page 3 of 6
xxx Because, in the past, there have been airliner ocean-ditchings on the long 2500 mile over-ocean flights from the US mainland to Hawaii, this dangerous 2-engine airliner policy is particularly apparent on these very long over-ocean flights to the Hawaiian Islands, which, (Being 2500 miles from the US West Coast) are much farther out to sea than many visitors are aware of, as these tropical islands are located near the middle of the enormous Pacific Ocean, and, are the most remotely located and isolated land masses on Earth.
xxx This 2500 mile over-ocean distance from the US West Coast to the Hawaiian Islands is the same distance as the entire width of the continental United States from New York to Los Angeles.
xxx This is why, before succumbing to "Pressure" from the airline lobby, the FAA always required the airlines to use 3 or 4 engine airliners on these long over-ocean Hawaiian flights, in order that these passenger filled airliners had sufficient engine redundancy, in case of engine-failure(s), when mid-ocean.
xxx As stated above, these extended over-ocean flights, take these 2-engine passenger-filled airliners, isolated and all alone, across the vastness of the oceans, and many hundreds of miles, and many hours away, from the nearest land.
xxx We can only imagine the incredible apprehension, guilt, and, fear of the captains of these
2-engine airliners, (who, unlike airline executives and government regulators sitting safely in their offices and hiding behind ETOPS), these captains bear the ultimate responsibility for the lives of the 400-500 passengers and crew members aboard their aircraft, and, of course, their own lives.
xxx In past days, pilots had the professional "Piece of mind" in knowing that every precaution, regardless of cost, had been taken by the airlines, and, by the government agencies, to obtain the maximum safety possible on these long over-ocean passenger flights.
xxx However, now, since ETOPS was created, these captains, because of airline cost-cutting measures (ETOPS), are forced to live with the realization, and, forced to accept the responsibility for, any adverse events which may occur on these 2-engine extended over-ocean flights, knowing that there are several hours of flight that, should an engine fail during this critical time period, that the ability of a 500,000 pound passenger-filled airliner, flying with only 1 operating engine, (at the much reduced single-engine speed), for the up to 5-6 long hours which may be necessary to reach the closest land, is now, after ETOPS, very uncertain, and, that the possibility of having to ditch this passenger filled airliner into the ocean, after an engine failure, is certainly present and always weighing heavily on the minds of these captains during these extended over-ocean flights.
xxx The fact that these airlines would put their captains in the position of having to knowingly endanger the lives of their passengers and fellow crew members, in order to keep their jobs, is further proof of the cold-blooded callousness, and, profit motivated greed of these airline executives.
xxx I am a former airline pilot, and, I don't believe that I, nor, any other pilot of my generation, could tolerate this enormous guilt, caused by this obvious betrayal of my trusting passengers.
xxx (Things have certainly changed from the time when pilots were not so wimpy as they are today, did not live in constant fear of losing their jobs, and, had the stones, and, the self-respect, as extremely skilled and highly trained professionals, to challenge the mindless money-obsessed bureaucrats who make life and death decisions on critical aviation safety issues).
xxx As stated above, this recent policy change, from 4 to 2-engine airliners, on extended over-water flights, was prohibited by more knowledgable and responsible former government regulators of the past.
xxx See: Below - - -
---- From Wikipedia
xxx - "Dick Taylor, then Boeing's director of engineering, approached FAA director
J. Lynn Helms, (a few years ago, when
3 or 4 engine airliners were still required for extended over-ocean flights), about the possibility of an exemption to the 3 or 4 engine FAA over-ocean flight requirement.
** Mr. Helm's famous response was "It'll be a cold day in Hell before I let twins fly long haul, overwater routes".
**Therefore, according to Mr. Helms, who was also a very experienced pilot, with full knowledge of the dangers of 2-engine over-ocean flight, the opinions expressed, in this Report, are not conspiracy theories, but, were shared by the highest level FAA officials of the past, who may have been more responsible, more safety minded, and, less concerned with accomodating powerful business interests.
--- Important Note - - -The safety concerns expressed in this document are timeless, as the world's oceans are just as vast, cold, and deep, today, as they were during the FAA Administration of Mr. Helms, and, engine failures continue to occur on a regular basis today, just as they did in the past.
xxx In fact, in spite of the deceptive and irrelevant ass/covering statistics of ETOPS, there seems to be a greater number of engine failures occurring now, than there were in the past.
**The increasing frequency of these airliner engine failures may be because, as these airliners and their engines continue to age, (Many with thousands and thousands of hours of flight time) they are more likely to fail - hence - the need for more engine redundancy.
***Soon after Mr. Helms "Retired", and, contrary to Mr. Helm's over-ocean safety policies, the powerful airline lobby, in order to increase airline profits, was successful at "Persuading" the new FAA Administrator into approving this dangerous cost-cutting, and obviously risky ETOPS Program, which allowed the use of 2-engine airliners on these extended over-ocean flights.
***At the inception of ETOPS, a study was done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which concluded that the ETOPS 2-engine airliner over-ocean program is "Inherently unsafe/unwise", as the cost-savings does not justify the incredible risk to the flying public. --------------------------------------------
** At this same time, McDonnell Douglas Corp., a major aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor, (DC-3, DC-6, DC-7, DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, MD-80, F-4 Phantom) and, because of the obvious safety concerns, refused to participate in, and, refused to be associated with the ETOPS 2-engine airliner over-ocean program.
**In spite of this very credible opposition and warnings about the dangers of ETOPS, and, considering the alarming increase in the number of recent airliner engine failures, the money/profit-obsessed airline executives are still apparently unable to overcome their uncontrollable "money-lust" and, are still ignoring the credible warnings of the obvious dangers of extended 2-engine airliner over-ocean flights, and, are still continuing with, and, even expanding the ETOPS Program to the point, where now, hundreds of innocent passengers, including children and infants, may find themselves flying mid-ocean, at low altitude, through possibly severe and stormy weather, possibly at night, for 6 long and terrifing hours, and, thousands of miles away from the closest airport, with only 1, or, (considering the increasing number of airliner engine failures), no engines - - - a potentially disastrous situation unimaginable under previous and more safety minded FAA administrations.
***NOTE (As of March 2023): Averaged over the last eight months, American Airlines has had planes experience three engine failures per month - far more than any other domestic airline.Page 4 of 6
***During that eight-month period, FAA records showed American had 23 failures, Delta had 17, United 15, US Airways 10, Continental 10,
Southwest 7, and Northwest 7.
***Fortunately for the passengers and crews, these disabled airliners were close to a suitable airport, and were not mid-ocean, and were not hundreds of miles and many hours from land, when these engine failures occurred. .
xxx Please consider - - - Should an engine failure occur, near the mid-point of the long 2500 mile over-ocean flights to Hawaii, (1250 miles either way) including other routes, and, forced to descend to a much lower altitude, and, slow to less than half of their normal cruising speed, (from 550 MPH down to 250 MPH - caused by the failure of 1 of its only 2 engines), it would take an airliner, carrying 300 - 400 - 500 passengers, flying at the reduced 1-engine speed of only about 250 MPH, at least 5 to 6, or more, long hours of flight, through unknown and possible severe weather conditions, such as, thunderstorms (and their frequently occurring engine-damaging hail), turbulence, icing conditions, strong headwinds, and/or, other weather conditions common at these lower altitudes, (possibly in the darkness of night), for this disabled airliner, operating with only 1 engine, to reach the nearest land, 1250 miles away.--------------------------------------------
Also, consider this recent engine-failure event
xxx On December 29th 2022, United Airlines Flight #839, a 2-engine Boeing 787 “Dreamliner”, carrying over 300 passengers, enroute from Los Angeles to Sydney Australia, a non-stop over-water trans-Pacific flight of almost 8000 miles, experienced an engine failure in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and, was forced to divert, with only 1 operating engine, to the nearest airport, 1000 miles away, on the Island of Pago Pago, in American Samoa.
xxxThe Pago Pago diverson, as described above and below, is a classic example of a near-disaster, resulting from the ETOPS 2-engine over-ocean Program.
xxx This airplane with 300 passengers on board, had to fly with only 1-engine, 1000 miles across
open-ocean, at night, from the point of the engine failure, before finally making it to Pago Pago (see: below pic). Pago Pago diversion - UAL Flt#839 - Los Angeles - Sydney
xxx For the FAA, and, for the airlines, to allow this situation to exist, where the lives of 300 passengers, including children and infants, were totally dependent, flying at night, for over 1000 over-ocean miles, through uncertain weather conditions, on only 1 operating engine, of unknown age and flight hours, is, in my opinion, an indication of how far down the scale of decency, and, how far down the scale of concern for airline passenger safety, the FAA has sunken to, in order to "Accommodate" the money and profit-obsessed airlines, and, their powerful lobby.
xxx At the present time, when there have been so many recently reported airliner engine-failures, the possibility certainly existed, during this 1000 mile diversion flight to Pago Pago, for the failure of the only remaining, and, now overworked, engine, and, for other unforseen problems which could befall a large airliner operating for extended over-ocean distances with only 1 engine, and, which could easily have resulted in the unthinkable ditching of this passenger filled airplane into the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
xxx Because of this unconscionable reduction of over-ocean safety standards, the margin of safety, previously required on extended trans-oceanic passenger flights, was non-existant, as this huge passenger-filled airliner, was flying, with only 1 operating engine, through the darkness of night, on the very edge of disaster, with the lives of the passengers and crew hanging by the slenderest of threads, totally dependent, for 1000 over-ocean miles, on the continued operation of this now overworked engine, of unknown age and flight hours, with absolutely no margin of safety as was previously required on long over-ocean passenger flights.
xxx To put the flying public, including children and infants, into this unbelievably dangerous situation, which occurred on UAL Flight #839, would have been unheard of under previous FAA Administrations.
xxx During the flight attendants precautionary passenger briefing on ditching procedures, which was certainly given during this 1-engine/1000 mile over-ocean diversion flight to Pago Pago, we can all imagine the obvious passenger terror, during this emergency briefing, while being instructed on how to put on their life vests, and, reminded of the location of the life rafts and emergency exits, and, of the necessity of staying calm when evacuating the sinking aircraft, along with 300+ other passengers, most of whom would certainly be in a state of intense panic.
xxx We can only imagine what it might have felt like when realizing how close they were to their lives suddenly coming to a horrific end in the middle of the enormous Pacific Ocean.
xxx This mid-ocean engine failure and diversion, in my opinion, transformed what was previously considered to be a "Dreamliner" into a "Nightmare-liner".
2-engine Boeing 767 breaks into pieces when ditching
xxx During that long and terrifying 1000 mile -- 1-engine - night-time -- over-ocean diversion flight to Pago Pago, all those aboard this disabled airliner, including passengers and crew, certainly had their ears finely tuned to the sound of the only remaining engine, and, finely tuned to any real or imagined peculiar noises coming from this engine, realizing the catastrophic consequences which would result if this engine should also fail -
--- and, if this only remaining engine did fail, what might happen when this gliding, ETOPS created horror-show, carrying 300 passengers, hit the water ? -
--- and, whether or not the airplane would come to rest right-side-up, or, break apart upon impact, which would eject them into the ocean ? -
--- and , how long the airplane, or, its pieces, would float before finally sinking ? -
--- and, whether or not they would be able to escape from the possibly up-side-down airplane, and, against the on-rushing ocean ? -
--- and, if they were fortunate enough to escape from the airplane through the inevitable panic, would they be able to locate and care for their children and family members, while in the water, and, in the blackness of night ? -
--- and, if they did not survive the ditching, but, their children did survive, who would care for their children in the future ? -
--- and, if they should be fortunate enough to escape the sinking aircraft, how long would they have to float around in a life raft, or, dangle from their life jackets, with their bodies in the water, before help arrived ? -
xxx There can be no doubt that all of these horrifying thoughts were on the minds of the passengers, and, also, among the crew-members, during this long 1-engine - 1000 mile over-ocean night diversion flight to Pago Pago.
xxx Many of these passengers were undoubtedly crying, and - on their knees - praying for their lives, and, for the lives of their families, for 1000 miles of terrifying night time 1-engine over-ocean flight.
xxx No amount of ETOPS bulls...t can justify this extreme level of stress and fear having to be endured by innocent airline passengers.
xxx If this mid-Pacific engine failure had occurred when using a 4-engine airliner, no complicated ETOPS diversion procedures would have been necessary, as there would have been 3 remaining engines to safely carry the aircraft, and, its 300 passengers and crew, to the original destination, or, to any other destination within the fuel range.
PanAm Boeing 707 (Clipper) enroute to Honolulu
xxx This terrifing and potentially disastrous situation could never have happened with a 3 or 4-engine airliner before the airline lobby got rid of Mr. Helms, and soon thereafter, "Convinced" the new FAA Administrator to allow 2-engine airliner extended over-ocean flights, and, to create the dubious ETOPS Program in order to cover their asses should an ocean ditching occur.
xxx In addition - - Even if a disabled airliner was fortunate enough to make a long over-ocean diversion flight with only 1 operating engine, this fear and extreme terror, experienced by the passengers, who are not prepared nor trained for (as are many aviation professionals) this high level of personal life-threatening danger and stress, lasting for several hours, would, for many, be a life changing, emotionally damaging, and extremely traumatic experience, which they never anticipated nor expected when getting on board this airliner and taking their seats.page 5 of 6
xxx In my opinion, by focusing on profits and ignoring this passenger/crew fear/stress factor in deciding to use 2-engine airliners on extended over-water routes, and, relying on sales motivated manufacturer's "reported" extended distance performance capabilities of large 2-engine 500,000 pound airliners, when operating with only 1 engine, the NTSB, the FAA, and, the airlines, are revealing either their high level of stupidity, or, their high level of profit motivated greed, indifference, and, cold-bloodedness, or, all of the above, that they feel regarding their responsibilities to the flying public, and, to airline employees who work aboard these 2-engine airliners.
xxx The Blancolirio YouTube Aviation Channel" has published a deceptive and very disappointing report on this UAL Pago Pago engine-failure diversion event, in which the publisher, Mr. Juan Browne, attempts to defend, but, instead, actually exposes the idiocy of ETOPS, by trying to explain the ridiculously complicated ETOPS diversion procedures, including the many charts, distances to far away diversion airports, and, the ridiculous 3-hour flight rings required under ETOPS mid-ocean diversion operations, and, by doing so, instead of defending ETOPS, actually discredits these very dangerous and complicated ETOPS engine failure procedures, none of which were necessary before the switch from 4-engine to 2-engine over-ocean flights, and, before ETOPS was created.
xxx Also, in this Blancolario Channel YouTube video, concerning UAL #839, Mr. Browne completely ignores the terror experienced by the passengers, and, instead, jokes about how this terrifing near-disaster resulted in the passengers "having drinks on the Beach at Pago Pago", (sic) which has, in my opinion, destroyed Mr. Browne's, and, the Blancolirio Channel's sincerity and credibility.
xxx In this Blancolario Channel YouTube video, Mr. Brown attempts to defend ETOPS, but, after clearly expressing, at least 3 times, his knowledge of the danger of 2-engine airliner over-ocean flights, and, after clearly expressing his own personal anxiety at the prospect of being mid-ocean with only 1 engine, Mr. Browne, at the end of this video, ironically, contradicts his own statements, regarding his fear of 1-engine over-ocean flights, by telling his YouTube followers that the 2-engine extended over-ocean ETOPS engine-failure program is "Safe" for over-ocean passenger flights.
xxx Mr. Browne, therefore, betrays and confuses the followers of his YouTube Channel by telling them that something that he, himself, fears, is, nevertheless, safe.
xxx This Blancolirio Video is a classic example of a pilot kissing the asses of the powerful airline industry, in order to be a "team-player", and, has, in my opinion, destroyed Mr. Browne's, and the Blancolirio Channel's credibility.
xxx To review the above mentioned Blancolirio Channel Report on this Pago Pago engine failure diversion event, copy and paste the following URL into your browser - - - "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rCXZmwiUFA"
xxx To review my critique of the above mentioned Blancolirio Channel Report on this Pago Pago engine failure diversion event, copy and paste the following URL into your browser - - - "https://www.airlinesafetysolutions.com/blancolirio report.html"
xxx In order to draw the attention of the National Transportation & Safety Board (NTSB) and, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to this very serious airline safety issue, and, after the recent catastrophic engine failures on 2 separate United Airlines 2-engine Boeing 777's enroute to Hawaii, and after the many other recently reported engine failures, I submitted, in March of 2021 the following 14 page report to the NTSB. xx UPDATE
(14 page Report to NTSB.)
xxx A few weeks later, I received a form letter from the NTSB, acknowledging the receipt of this Report, which stated that this information would be forwarded to the FAA for possible Rule Change.
xxx That was my last contact with either the NTSB, nor, the FAA, concerning this serious airline safety issue.
xxx That is the reason for this airline safety "Blog".
xxx Other than this form letter acknowledging receipt of this safety report, 2 years ago, I have not heard from the FAA on this important and indisputable airline safety issue.
xxx I have recently received a letter/e-mail, signed by the Chief Executive Secretary of the National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Ms. Shavonne L. Austin, stating, in effect, that the Chairperson of the NTSB, Ms. Jennifer Homendy, (Believe it or not) does not
feel it is the responsibility of the NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION & SAFETY BOARD to investigate this well documented, throughly researched, and indisputable airline safety
issue which is endangering the lives of the innocent and trusting flying public, including children and infants, in which the Chairperson of the NTSB, in an obvious act of "Dereliction of duty" or, "Self-acknowledged incompetence", or both, "Passes the buck" by requesting that I bypass the NTSB investigating process and submit my concerns directly to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- CAN YOU BELIEVE IT ! ! ! !.
xxx I have serious doubts as to whether NTSB Chairman Ms. Jennifer Homendy, nor, her assistant, Ms. Shavonne L. Austin, have even the slightest
qualifications for the important jobs they hold at the National Transportation & Safety Board.
xxx This introductory page only briefly describes the airline safety issues involved in these 2-engine extended over-ocean flights.
xxx Publication of this information will, hopefully, motivate the readers to contact their Congressional Representatives and request that federal investigations of these safety issues be conducted by the appropriate government agencies.
xxx For much more detailed information concerning this critical airline safety issue – click the links below.14 Page Safety Report Sent to NTSB
More Info On Pago Pago Diversion
More ETOPS info-- (FAA 2-engine Over-water Rules)
Letters (Alerts)to Airline Executives
END OF REPORT
PanAm Boeing 707
Lockheed L-1011 Tristar
In my opinion, this would be the ideal aircraft to bring back into
production and equipped with the latest avionics and fuel efficient engines
- - wide body/3-engines/2 isle/300-400 passengers/already flight tested - -
xxx The following is a message (Peer review) I have received from an obviously experienced airline pilot.
xxx I have read with interest, your position paper regarding long-distance overwater flights using 2-engine aircraft operating under ETOPS rules.
xxx In my opinion, your arguments are reasonable, and, reflective of the realities facing flight crews on extended overwater operations.
xxx There are a few areas of coverage that might be helpful to your dialog with regulatory authorities, specifically, flight deck crew workload during emrg ops, workload resulting from simultaneous or cascading aircraft system failures, failures in comm/nav systems during emrg ops, ground-based systems status at diversion airports, and unavailavbility of one or more diversion airports due to runway conditions and/or obstructions.
Please feel free to use or discard any or all of my commentary as your prefer.
xxx Flight deck crew workload during emrg ops: Engine-out ops on 2-engine aircraft is a significant workload for crew, even in terminal areas of domestic airspace, where diversion airports are ample, and where unavailability of a particular diversion airport simply results in selection of a nearby alternate. Adding in overwater ops to the engine-out workload, where there are limited diversion airports, compicates workload and invites inattention to the full spectrum of aircraft performance parameters necessary to be monitored for safe flight.
xxx Workload resulting from simultaneous or cascading aircraft system failures: While rare, simultaneous and/or cascading system failures do occur, and when they do, the outcome is often fatal to aircraft and occupants. What begins as solely an engine-out condition, where emrg procedures are standardized, simultaneous failure of other aircraft systems such as hydraulics/fly-by-wire control surface systems, comm/nav systems, pressurization systems, can present a workload that exceeds flight deck crew performance capabilities, with possibly fatal consequences.
xxx Ground-based systems status at diversion airports: Availability and service quality of ILS, VOR or NDB facilities at a selected diversion airport is never guaranteed. While in domestic operations, such condition simply results in selection of another nearby alternate airport, in ETOPS ops, the choice of diversion airport may be limited to a single airport. If faciltiies at the selected diversion airport are degraded or unavailable, safe and successful landing may be impossible, resulting in ditching at sea or impact with terrain.
xxx Unavailavbility of one or more diversion airports due to runway conditions and/or obstructions: While many domestic and some international airports have more than one runway, whereby OTS equipment or physical obstruction such as a stuck aircraft on runway merely results in selection of another runway, diversion airports during ETOPS overwater ops do not generally feature more than one runway. If ground facilities are OTS or an obstruction blocks the only runway, landing may not be possible, resulting in selection of another alternate which may be out of endurance range of the aircraft, with predictable ditching at sea or impact with terrain.
xxx Best of luck, Al, in your campaign to bring a safer and more sane approach to extended overwater operations."