Flying time in the Q400, which is operated by Horizon Air
“Take a trip for only $7!” Not today.
There are many stories out there that will tell you how to travel super cheap. That’s not this story. I am a middle class professional, without a lot of disposable income, so I need to make sure I spend it wisely. I haven’t flown in a while and started to get that itch. You probably know it. Where you feel that you need to be airborne again. I had no trips coming up for AirlineReporter and even if there were, my schedule was tight, so making something work was unlikely. I finally decided to try and set up a weekend trip on my own.
I was talking to a friend (let’s call her Brittany — turns out to be her name) about wanting to fly and she shared the sentiment. We decided to take a trip, with a few requirements: 1) Somewhere not too far away from Seattle (SEA), to have meaningful time on the ground; 2) Fly on a Bombardier Q400 (she had never flown on one); and 3) Some place where we could wear our cowboy boots (yea, I guess you can wear cowboy boots anywhere, but we wanted to go somewhere it made sense). We were up for the challenge and decided on a great location!
I first flew in a Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 as a passenger in October 2015 and, less than a year later, I got to co-pilot one! Well, not exactly… Not being a qualified pilot, I am unlikely to fly one any time soon. However, that did not prevent me from experiencing the next best thing: a ride in FlightSafety’s multimillion-dollar Dash 8 simulator, one of which is housed in the US aviation training company’s UK base at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire.
FlightSafety Simulator – Photo: FlightSafety International Inc
Sales Manager Cristina Rodriguez, Dash 8 Program Manager (and examiner) Michèle Rodrigues, and Q400 Simulator Flight Instructor Bill Grevaux recently welcomed me to join them in the aircraft-type simulator. How could I refuse?
Our ride: Q400 Dash 8 – Photo: Alastair Long
Continental Airlines Dash-8 Q400 Image: lindsaywp
I notice I seem to avoid having to write about stories in the news that aren’t so positive in the airline business. I know those of us interested or that work in this business hate to see when a plane goes down and lives are lost.
Flight 3407, a Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, crashed at about 10pm on February 12th. It crashed into some houses, killing a 61-year old man who was home at the time and all 48 people (44 passengers, 4 crew) that were aboard the plane.
It appears at this point the plane lost forward momentum and came down flat on its belly. Some indicators are pointing to icing that was reported before the crash.
Even though ice could turn out to be the main factor of this, the Dash 8 is well known to handle the ice well and ability to get through almost anything. From what is reported now, it seems this accident happened very quickly, giving very little opprotunity for the pilots to save the doomed plane.
My thoughts go out to the families of those affected by this tragic loss.