Last month I reported that a Swissair flight had to land in the Canadian Arctic with an engine problem. The aircraft, a Boeing 777, had to have an engine replaced before it could proceed.
Now Popular Mechanics has published a detailed article on what the engine swap involved, including a number of interesting photographs. Here’s a snippet.
The SWISS team handled the prep-work and readied systems for the engine swap, but GE performed the actual change. Both would rely on support from the local airline (First Air), the fixed base operator, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who made their hangar available. None of the groups had met previously, but they gelled immediately.
“I was astonished how fast the team was established,” Althammer says. Althammer was one of a trio of SWISS technicians working directly on the aircraft. “You could feel each and every one’s passion for aviation and that bound us together.”
The combined team would need that passion in order to brave the elements. “There was a constant wind that made the whole thing feel even colder,” Rüttimann told Blick im Abend. Without wind, -22 degrees is bearable but working unprotected in these conditions… was not worth thinking about.”
The inflatable tent brought along by GE proved to be a lifesaver. Generators and lighting provided by the Iqaluit community raised the tent’s inside temperature to a relatively balmy 50 degrees and permitted work during the 19-hour-long February nights. Anyone or anything that ventured outside had to be kept from freezing.
There’s more at the link, including a number of photographs showing how the work was done. Recommended reading, particularly for aviation enthusiasts.
Looks like it was a pretty tough job. Kudos to all concerned – and a tip o’ the hat to reader C. R. for sending me the link to the article.