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Horizon Air Dash 8 - How Safe?  
User currently offlineQANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2047 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5131 times:

How safe is the Horizon Air Dash 8 aircraft for a flight SEA-PDX? Is it a fairly decent plane? How well does it handle turbulence?

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My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineTbonecapalbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5100 times:

I flew the Dash 8 on the PDX-SEA route. The weather was stormy, snowy, and windy. The plane handled just fine. It handled turbulence just as well as any other plane I've been on.

User currently offlineQ400 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5093 times:

I'm not sure which Dash 8 Series you will be flying on. If you get to fly on the Q400, it is a magnificant plane. Nevertheless, I believe all the Horizon Dash 8s are now the "Q" Series, which means quiet. You'll probably find them just as quiet as the jets. I'm sure you'll like the Dash 8s.

User currently offlineLymanm From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 1140 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5071 times:

I dunno, I was on a Dash 8 for Air Canada once and there was so much turbulence that we couldn't climb higher than the cloud level. Now that is turbulence!!!!! Plus I think the wing on top of the body design makes it less strong, I can just imagine the wings breaking off in really bad turbulence.

buhh bye
User currently offlineKAL_LM From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 497 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5059 times:

I've done the PDX-SEA route a couple of times and have yet to have a problem. In fact one morning flight I slept from the time I hit the seat until we met the gate in SEA...didn't notice anything. No better or worse than anything else I've been on. You'll be just fine...


is that a light at the end of the tunnel or just a train?
User currently offlineRedngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 40
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5038 times:

I was in a Dash-8 that survived at least level 5, probably level 6 turbulence. That is lucky for any aircraft to survive, but we did it in a Dash-8. It was before the time that forecasting was available for pop-up severe thunderstorms. We took off in clear, hot and humid conditions and landed in a tornadic supercell.


Up, up and away!
User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5002 times:

"there was so much turbulence that we couldn't climb higher than the cloud level."

I doubt it. I have never encountered turbulence which has an average negative-performance effect (except a downdraft and you'd know about it if you hit one of them). The aircraft was probably flying at the flightplan altitude and couldn't get higher because of ATC. Remember, the "cloud level" on thundery days can be much higher than the cruise altitiude of a DH8.

"Plus I think the wing on top of the body design makes it less strong, I can just imagine the wings breaking off in really bad turbulence."

Please refrain from making comments like this which contain no factual validity. The wings of a Dash 8 are as capable of staying strapped to the fuselage in turbulence as those of a 757 or 747. The high wing does not make the aircraft less strong.

In response to the first question the DH8 is a great aircraft, as safe as any jet you might otherwise fly on, and the high wing and lower cruise altitude will ensure a great view from any window seat provided the skies are relatively clear. Enjoy your trip.

I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlineAC183 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 1532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4939 times:

The high wing actually makes the aircraft more stable, because of the lower centre of mass relative to the centre of lift.

The wider landing gear stance gives it better handling, especially in poor landing conditions.

Overall I'm inclined to say the Dash8 is safer than most aircraft. While it can fly into smaller fields which often have poorer facilities and equipment, flying onto comparable fields I'd choose the Dash8 for safety. The lower approach speed, wide gear, handling characteristics, anti-icing equipment and other design characteristics from its DHC bushplane heritage make it the airplane I'd want to be on when flying in bad weather or poor conditions.

User currently offlineAlaskaMVP From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4910 times:

I agree that the Dash 8's are safe and comfortable, I've flown them many times. I will say the most impressive turbulence I ever had was on a Horizon Dash 8 going into SEA from PDX, over Puget Sound we hit an air pocket and dropped suddenly, the stewardess ended up on a passengers lap! It was too fast to be scary and the rest of the flight was crystal smooth.

It's been a while since I was on PDX-SEA but you might be lucky enough to get a tour of Mt. St. Helens, one of my last flights they did two steep banks around the mountain (one for passengers on each side), very impressive.

User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9790 posts, RR: 65
Reply 9, posted (13 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4912 times:

fly Sun Country to PDX from SEA  Smile

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