How a Honeywell APU Kept Me from Freezing to Death

May 3, 2017 | Author: Jennifer Spantak

Just how cold is -30 degrees Fahrenheit? Cold enough to ruin one of the world’s most advanced airplanes if it stays that cold for too long.  That’s why I want to take a moment to thank my lifeline, Honeywell’s 331-500 APU.  You’re the reason I’m still flying today.

Who would have imagined that one of my on-wing engines would give out over water, and that the closest airport was just a small airstrip in northern Canada called Iqaluit?  Certainly, not me.

When we landed there was no enclosed jet way for me to rest in. I was exposed in the bitter cold, but the APU kept me and all my systems warm. In the meantime, a makeshift tent was set up around me, so engineers could replace the engine on my wing.

I had some of the best surgeons working round-the-clock to replace that engine, but none of it would have been possible without you.  While it’s not standard operation for an APU to be operational during an engine change, you literally kept me from freezing to death.  Not once did you fail me, not once did you falter.  Even Lead Engineer Eric Ruettimann was impressed with your ability to stay strong.

He recently told Aviation Weekly, “Without the APU, the aircraft would have frozen in a short period of time. That could have caused severe damage as pipes and water tanks may have cracked and computers could have been harmed.”

Almost immediately after my engine was replaced, I was able to return home. It was because of you, 331-500, that this entire operation was nothing short of a miracle.  Thank you, 331-500. I hope we don’t have to do this again, but I won’t be worried if we do.

Click here to see video and pictures of the entire operation. 

Jennifer Spantak

Jennifer Spantak

Senior Communications Specialist, Honeywell Aerospace.