ERJ-135 overwater legs


New Member
There was a thread here in 2004 about ERJ-135/145 aircraft being used on ETOPS across the Gulf of Mexico, but the thread got closed when things became personal. The key question posed was never answered.

I'd like to know please if anybody here can answer me. In a hypothetical overwater route say 1200nm long, where there exists a potential single engined divert from midpoint of about 530nm, is it legal to operate an ERJ-135LR without ETOPS ?

Please could anyone confirm or correct that the non ETOPS rule which existed before ETOPS came along was that a twin engined aircraft could not fly beyond 90 minutes from a suitable airfield ?

Was that 90 minutes or 60 minutes ?
We're talking now about the rules which DC-3 Dakotas used to operate from.

I take it nobody anywhere has ETOPS certification for the ERJ jets ?
Ironic given that the engines have demonstrated reliability which surpass requirements for 180 minute ETOPS.
The EMB-135/145 has never been tested for ditching, and thus cannot go beyond 50 miles off shore. There was talk within my company several years ago that we were trying to get a 162 mile exemption (the same SWA has) to be able to go over water, such as the Gulf and down some of the offshore routes out of EWR. That talk has pretty much been silenced for now.
The EMB-135/145 is not ETOPS certified.

As I understand things, there is a mod to make it ETOPS certified. If I've got this right, it's held by ExpressJet and was designed to allow for CoEx planes to go from Houston to points south over the Gulf of Mexico. It was never installed, though. I wouldn't be surprised to see it on an ExpressJet charter plane eventually.
If you have a raft, you can go over 50nm.

A certain airline I used to work for looked into that. There is an exemption for >50 without a raft.

However, being that the OP is from Wellington (NZ - I'd guess), there are alot of SoutPac routes they want to use.

That being said, for the right amount of $$$ (and probably able to cut a good deal now, Embraer will be more than happy to pony up.
The company my friend flys the Legacy for a (135) flys them across the Atlantic.

Does it fly in the MNPS airspace? Or do the Blue Spruce routes, or go the Azores route?

And the rules for Part 91 or 135 (Legacy) versus 121 (145) are different too.

Certifying one plane versus a fleet is different too.
One of the issues with getting certification for ditching is to show that the escape points are not submerged on a floating aircraft. Cessna obtained ditching certification on one of it's twins with a mod for a watertight dam on the lower half of a door on one of their twins. I expect either this or a roof hatch would create compliance.

Interestingly on such a lengthy route and carrying a liferaft, an ERJ-135LR cannot carry more than 30 pax anyway so is potentially able to operate under Part 125 rules which do not require ditching certification.

This will explain how a legacy can fly the Atlantic.

Another point is that under Part 121 the route would not breach the 90 minute rule from a diversionary airfield. The same could likely apply to many routes in the Gulf of Mexico for any aspiring Carribean airline entreprenuers.
What you might be referring to is an overwater exemption...which is VERY different from ETOPS certification. At ASA we are allowed to go up to 162nm from the shoreline in the CRJ 700 as long as every passenger has a life vest and some special briefings and procedures are followed. It helped out quite a bit when we still had some Carribean destinations like Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Turks and Caicos.
Yeah I guess an exemption, but I am curious to know what restriction such an operation needs exempting from if it is otherwise compliant with the 90 minute rule ?

For example I'm located in New Zealand. We're surrounded by Guzillions of gallons of pacific ocean and even domestic flights here carry life jackets and life rafts as par for the course. I can't conceive of not flying with lifejackets.

Since I have your attention, I am still curious to know what a typical single engined radius is for an ERJ-135 in 90 minutes of flying ?
Just another question... What is the significance of 162nm please ?
How wide is the Gulf of Mexico ?
At the very centre of the Gulf is it possible to be more than 162 nm from land ?

Another point I guess is that if one is landing at Carribean Islands, the ERJ is unlikely to be flying at it's service ceiling of 37,000 en route.