I’ve just started using the full SimBrief website a few days ago and came around a term that I haven’t hear of before. So what exactly is a Etop and what is it’s purpose?


Engines turn or passengers swim


ETOPS is pretty much a Extended-range Twin Engine Operational Performance Standards.

Pretty much it’s a certification that allows aircraft to be more than 60 minutes away from an airport where they can perform an emergency landing at.

ETOPS - extended range twin engine operational performance standards.

There was once a day where 4 engine aircraft were only allowed to cross the pond. This is because if an engine failed, they could still rely on the other 3. However Twin engine aircraft were becoming more reliable, fuel efficient as well as increasing in range capacity, thus ETOPS was introduced. It was introduced as a 60 minute rule where the Twin engine aircraft had to be between 60 minutes of the nearest airport when crossing the pond over to America or to Europe.

The aircraft could only fly if it was within the circles shown above. And this is why the routes were curved and not direct. However as time went by and advancements were made, the rule increased to ETOPS 90 and then to ETOPS 120 and ETOPS 180, with some aircraft also being certified for ETOPS 240 and ETOPS 330. This now allows flights to be more direct.


I’m sure that the other responses are very helpful and so is that video by Wendover Productions, but if you need a VERY SIMPLIFIED version here it is: ETOPS is how many minutes a plane can fly from a diversion airport in the event of an engine failure that requires the plane to fly with one engine

And if both engines fail, well then, you’re dead Unless Sully is your captain


Thanks everyone for your responses a mod can now close this.