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http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/ ... to-hawaii/
Apparently American sent a A321 that WASN'T ETOPS Compliant to Hawaii.
ETOPS for those not in the know is a standard that is required by the FAA for ANY aircraft making flights over bodies of water.
I'd hate to be the Logistics guy who made this F***-up.
Historically American has flown 757s and 767s on their routes to Hawaii.
This August American mixed things up by starting to fly some of their brand new A321s on their routes from Los Angeles to Hawaii. These are different than the “premium” ones they fly between New York and Los Angeles/San Francisco.
This started on August 18, when American launched twice daily A321 flights between Los Angeles and Honolulu.
The number of A321 flights to Hawaii is continuing to grow, as American is launching flights on the A321 from Los Angeles to Kona, Kahului, and Lihue.
The A321 is perfectly capable of flying to Hawaii, though like all other planes flying long distances without diversion points, it requires an ETOPS rating...
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Do they have "people" making these decisions or is it computer-formulated? I would still think the pilots would be responsible for knowing their aircraft.
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Probably going to return from Hawaii on a Delay code 404 - Aircraft not found.
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ETOPS is Extended Twin-engine Operations meaning that this is the distance an aircraft can be (draw a circle around departure/destination/alternate) where it can lose one engine and make it to wherever. Not being ETOPS rated means that they simply haven't done the paperwork for the aircraft to tell the FAA and ICAO, "hey, this airplane like the other A321's can operate on ETOPS restrictions to Hawaii yo."
I don't think they use an automated system for this yet. This isn't a pilot issue, it's a dispatcher one. This flight was probably planned weeks ahead of time by dispatchers and someone failed to verify the aircraft's documentation. Pilots just get assigned an aircraft and worry about flying it. The ETOPS and everything were probably already done by dispatch or by the airline (some routes are just standardized and it's not international per-say). Basically, they just say, "okay, here's our stuff for this flight. Become familiar, check wx, verify restrictions, and let's roll."
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They will find out who made the mistake sooner or later weather it be dispatch or the airline. The dispatcher signed off the flight, the aircrew also signed off. Either they didn't spot the error (That the aircraft was not ETOPS cert.) or there was information missing from the airline or the central flight planners. It could also be that the aircraft might have been swapped last minute? Im not an expert on FAA procedures though so I cant really comment.
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