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Q400 Reliability  
User currently offlinebaje427 From Barbados, joined Jul 2011, 405 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4121 times:

I was reading a couple threads about the Q400 and noticed several comments referencing its unreliability so how reliable is the Q400?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4038 times:

For me, this springs into mind:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dash_8_landing_gear_incidents

Basically, several landing gear incidents with SK's Dash 8-400's in short time made them completely remove the type from the fleet.

Besides what's mentioned above I don't know much about the reliability of the Dash 8's at all.


User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 706 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4000 times:

For SK, it was probably a easy decision. Too much negative media attention for one type of airframe and it's just easier to throw in the towel. Doesn't mean the problems haven't been solved.

User currently offlineSANFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 5437 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3940 times:

AS has recently been mentioning this very subject.

Here's a quote from QX Pres Glenn Johnson in the media release of new flights in June:

Quote:
"What makes this additional service possible is the increased Q400 reliability we've worked so hard to achieve."

(The quote is from this thread: Alaska Announces New Service Via Horizon Air (by ASFlyer Jan 17 2012 in Civil Aviation))
I think it's mentioned in this thread as well: AS Posts $287.4M Net Profit For 2011/$244.5M Gaap (by EA CO AS Jan 26 2012 in Civil Aviation)

It seems that at least the Alaska Air Group is quite pleased with the a/c; in fact, in the year-end conference call it was mentioned that they have options for 2 more Q400s (next year I believe) that they may take.

bb


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3929 times:

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 2):
For SK, it was probably a easy decision. Too much negative media attention for one type of airframe and it's just easier to throw in the towel.

Indeed. I remember how much the media here in Sweden wrote about it. I especially remember a poll on the website of a Swedish tabloid newspaper, asking "Will you fly SAS again?", to which 80% had said no. Would be interesting to know how many of those 80% that have flown SK since, my bet is that most of them has.


User currently offlineairman99o From Canada, joined Aug 1999, 975 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3848 times:

Air Canada Express ( Sky Regional ) has had pretty good reliability with theirs. I also believe that Jazz has similar productivity with theirs. As with all planes there are the glitches n the like, I love working on this bird!!


Safety is Everyones Responsibility.
User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6453 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3743 times:

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 2):
For SK, it was probably a easy decision. Too much negative media attention for one type of airframe and it's just easier to throw in the towel. Doesn't mean the problems haven't been solved.

Problem has been solved. Long time ago.

The MLG hydraulic actuator cylinder and rod were connected with threads - female threads in the cylinder end. The two components were produced from two galvanically incompatible sorts of steel. During descend through clouds, moisture was pressed through the threads into a small cave behind the rod end. The female threads suffered galvanic corrosion and it fell apart.

Faulty components were exchanged with new one of galvanically fitting steel types on all Q400s worldwide. Game over!

This joint should according to original BBD maintenance procedures be inspected after 14,000 cycles. SK - as launch customer - suffered two disconnections within 52 hours, both after approximately 9,000 cycles.

Somehow the Danish CAA happened to become sort of "Assistant Airliner Design Bureau".

The third SK incident a few weeks later was totally unrelated, and it was beyond any doubt caused by SK maintenance fault due to too hasty rebuilding of the 27 planes strong fleet. Same day it was decided never to fly a Q400 with SK colors again.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 4):
I remember how much the media here in Sweden wrote about it. I especially remember a poll on the website of a Swedish tabloid newspaper, asking "Will you fly SAS again?", to which 80% had said no. Would be interesting to know how many of those 80% that have flown SK since, my bet is that most of them has.

The SK Q400 problems hit the three Scandinavian countries in different ways:

Norway: They just wondered how they in a different country were unable to operate a plane properly.

Sweden: Due to the slightly earlier "Kalmar incident", - a very close call to a terrible fatal disaster - it got extensive press coverage. (Kalmer incident: Hydraulic propeller control fault combined with faulty pilot reaction during approach into Kalmar Airport, south-eastern Sweden).

Denmark: Since all three MLG incidents were mostly related to Denmark, it became a media storm on SK, from which they haven't fully recovered today. And sure their less than stellar economic performance during the last few years can to significant extent be traced back to the Q400 episode.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3643 times:

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 4):
Indeed. I remember how much the media here in Sweden wrote about it. I especially remember a poll on the website of a Swedish tabloid newspaper, asking "Will you fly SAS again?", to which 80% had said no. Would be interesting to know how many of those 80% that have flown SK since, my bet is that most of them has.

My best bet is most of then have not flown SK since, just as had their never flown SK before, but for reasons different than Q400 problems...

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 6):
Faulty components were exchanged with new one of galvanically fitting steel types on all Q400s worldwide. Game over!

Indeed, the former SK fleet flies without any significant problems elsewhere, for ex. MA.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlinebaje427 From Barbados, joined Jul 2011, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3506 times:

Thanks for the response guys so whats the dispatch reliability the Q400 is able to achieve.

User currently offlineT prop From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1029 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3419 times:

There are lots of people who are stuck in the past, they read things here on Airliners that are outdated by 10 years and suddenly it happened yesterday.

The Q400 dispatch reliability right now is better than the Dash 8 classics, keep in mind you're taking about airplanes that fly more cycles than hours. Cycles are harder on an aircraft than hours flown, that said Q400 dispatch reliability is about 99% today.


User currently offlineplanewasted From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 525 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3383 times:

The Q400 was nicknamed "the christmas tree" among SK pilots. Guess it had to do with warning lights appearing randomly...

User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6453 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3365 times:

Quoting planewasted (Reply 10):
The Q400 was nicknamed "the christmas tree" among SK pilots. Guess it had to do with warning lights appearing randomly...

That's correct. But that was during the early years of Q400 operation at SK. These problems were largely solved quite some time before the MLG episode.

Too often they had several fault indicators of all colors blinking on the displays, and most often it was indication faults - such as false fire alarm in the baggage compartment. Nevertheless the Danish CAA became so worried that they openly in the press told SK to "get their act together". BBD technicians worked over here to correct, modify and improve the systems. For some time roughly one year after introduction SK pulled a number of their 30 years old DC-9s from storage to operate the Q400 routes, while an empty Q400 would fly the same sector a few minutes later just to prove for the authorities that they could be operated safely.

It had a serious impact on the seriousness of the first MLG collapse incident. The crew performed a "normal landing". With both engines spinning. And they even extended the spoilers immediately after touch down. The result was that the right wingtip immediately hit the runway at full landing speed, and propeller shrapnels penetrated the cabin and injured a few pax, one of them quite seriously.

The captain told the press that he was sure that the gear was down and locked, and it was only an indication fault.

The second incident didn't suffer from those things, but it happened in darkness and no video is known to exist.

The third incident was in bright afternoon sunshine and was recorded very well on video. The flight crew made a perfect emergency landing. The #2 engines was shut down and propeller feathered during approach. And with ailerons - and no spoilers - they kept the plane balanced on one MLG wheel as long as possible and hit the runway with the wingtip at rather low speed. Also all pax had been removed from seats anywhere near the propeller disk.

But that was the bad old days. The result ten years after EIS is a fully developed Q400 airliner. And it will probably last a few centuries before SK again dares to become a launch customer.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineirshava From Ukraine, joined Oct 2011, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3240 times:

All those SK frames went to MA and they are doing fine.... matter of maintenance.


“If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing.”
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5471 posts, RR: 30
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3008 times:

Many also seem to forget that while SAS got rid of their Q's, they subsequently ordered a whole fleet of them for Wideroe.


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