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Halophila
Topic Author
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:44 am

Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:02 am

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for being naive about this, I'm not a pilot, just a passenger.

Yesterday we were delayed flying from BNE-LAX on QF175 because the aircraft operating the flight (VH-OJE; 744) was having MX difficulties at the gate. When we eventually boarded about an hour and a bit late, the Captain announced that the mechanical problem related to the APU; he said that they had been flying around for the last two weeks without the APU oprating and needed to run one of the engines for a while to allow the air con to cool the cabin sufficienty prior to boarding. While this wasn't strange to me, I was curious whether 2 weeks was a long time to have a this problem, prior to repair. We also had numerous other cabin problems while en route, with the overhead reading lights not illuminating over the middle seats of the a/c; some seats without IFE for several hours, etc.

I'm a HUGE fan of QF, so this post is not intended to criticise the airline in any way - I was simply curious how long an a/c may be operated with this kind of problem.

Thanks
Ian
Flown on A36 310 319 320 321 332 333 343 388 350 707 717 727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W 787 D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87 CRJ CR7 CR9 CR1000 120 135 145 175 190 146 F28 F50 F70 F100 Tristar
 
Tristarsteve
Posts: 3691
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RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:10 am

Depends on the airline and the local aviayion authority.
Also remember that on the B747, the APU is only used on the ground, not in flight. But the MEL on one airline I work on says 20 days, and another airline says 10 days. Also if the defect is fixed and works for a day or two, then you can start again!
But when I worked out in the Gulf, we treated APU as nearly no go ex base.
i.e. every aircraft that arrived in the hangar with an u/s APU was given one day to fix it.(or one night), the next visit it was changed. This was because of the reson you stated, it is very difficult to cool down the cabin in high temperatures, a wide body needs two air conditioning trucks, and still does not cool down very well.
 
A10WARTHOG
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:32 am

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:17 am

The airlines I work for the APU MEL is 10 days. When the plane overnights at a MX station it is first priority on the work scope.
 
hiflyer
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RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:24 am

remember folks that apu inop impacts ETOPS operations...ie a twin with an inop apu normally cannot fly etop legs. Since the 744 is a nonetops aircraft it does not have quite the demand to have it fixed.
 
A319XFW
Posts: 1519
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 5:41 am

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:32 am

Doesn't FedEx have weights in some of their aircraft instead of the APU? Or was it UPS?
As they don't use them and it's cheaper that way as you don't have all the maintenance issues etc with them.
 
Tristarsteve
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:44 am

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 3):
apu inop impacts ETOPS operations

Which aircraft? The B777 APU does not impact on ETOPS.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:07 pm

Quoting Halophila (Thread starter):
he said that they had been flying around for the last two weeks without the APU oprating and needed to run one of the engines for a while to allow the air con to cool the cabin sufficienty prior to boarding.

Depends on the MEL of the Aircraft concerned.
Im surprised the Capt announced this about the Duration part.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
MxCtrlr
Posts: 2312
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2001 11:22 am

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:45 pm

Quoting Halophila (Thread starter):
the aircraft operating the flight (VH-OJE; 744)

That takes ETOPS out of the picture on a 4-engined aircraft. Most MEL's I've worked with have the APU (MEL 49-1) at a "Category C" Item which is normally 10 days.

Now, as stated above by Tristarsteve, fixing it and having it fail the next flight, can extend that time out further as the MEL time starts over from Day 1. Theoretically, it could be out for 2 weeks or the Captain may have overstated the time reference thinking it SEEMED like it had been out for two weeks. Either way, not really a big deal.

MxCtrlr  bouncy 
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
 
Tristarsteve
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:04 pm

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:57 am

Quoting MxCtrlr (Reply 7):
Category C" Item which is normally 10 days.

But not always. MH have 20days for cat C MEL items.
 
scarebus03
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:14 pm

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:08 am

Some airlines have their A.P.U's modded so that they are cat 'D' items (120 days) of course it has to be agreed with the local aviation authority,


Brgds

SB03
No faults found......................
 
antiuser
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 9:43 am

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:01 am

In the months prior to its demise, VP would often fly their 732s and 733s around with a nonfunctional APU.
Azzurri Campioni del Mondo!
 
fumanchewd
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:43 am

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:20 am

I see private aircraft do this all of the time. However, they do need an airstart to get the engines going. I am sure that all airports that the 744 fly into have airstarts, but for smaller aircraft at satellite airports this can be a problem at times.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
Halophila
Topic Author
Posts: 480
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:44 am

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:22 pm

Thanks to everyone for their informative replies. I appreciate your insight!

Best
Halophila
Flown on A36 310 319 320 321 332 333 343 388 350 707 717 727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W 787 D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87 CRJ CR7 CR9 CR1000 120 135 145 175 190 146 F28 F50 F70 F100 Tristar
 
MX757
Posts: 495
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:38 pm

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:16 pm

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 5):
Which aircraft? The B777 APU does not impact on ETOPS.

At CO it does. APU inop on the 777, CAT C item, drops the ETOPS down from 207 minutes to 180 minutes. Not bad considering. I wouldn't like flying around on 1 engine and 1 generator for 3 hours though.
Is it broke...? Yeah I'll fix it.
 
N1120A
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RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:32 pm

Quoting MX757 (Reply 13):
At CO it does. APU inop on the 777, CAT C item, drops the ETOPS down from 207 minutes to 180 minutes. Not bad considering.

That is because ETOPS 207 is given on a case by case basis and CO only uses it when winds dictate and usually only to/from HKG.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
notdownnlocked
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RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:48 pm

There is absolutely no way that even the 747 ETOPS or 767 ETOPS can fly for even 2 days without a functioning APU.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26650
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Running Without APU - For 2 Weeks?

Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:53 pm

Quoting Notdownnlocked (Reply 15):
There is absolutely no way that even the 747 ETOPS or 767 ETOPS can fly for even 2 days without a functioning APU.

Well, there is no way for a 747 to fly ETOPS period, given that 747s are quads and are not subject to Extended-Range Twin-Engine Operations regulations.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss

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