Skydrol
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:13 am

I was just making a reservation using the WestJet site, and they have a section with carry-on baggage restrictions and other details about their new Bombardier Q400s,
but this one is funny:

Quote:

On-board lavatories

Thanks to cold Canadian winter temperatures, the waterlines on our WestJet Encore Q400's will be turned off.
There are sanitary wipes and bottled water on board – don't worry, the toilets will still function as usual.

Really? A modern Canadian-built aircraft with systems not designed for "cold Canadian winter temperatures".
Electric heat tracing and insulation have existed for close to a century...




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ssteve
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:27 am

I'm not sure I get that. Is it because they freeze when on the ground and idle? Because it's cold as heck at altitude anywhere.
 
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airportugal310
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:55 am

Ya that's an odd one. If it was because they do it at night when they might have no power on and that freezes the lines ok...but turn the airplane a few hours early and they unfreeze? Odd indeed. I'm sure there's a perfectly logical explanation
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Wingtips56
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:07 am

Horizon (Alaska) doesn't have running water to the sink either, using wipes. More of an economic thing.
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flynhi808
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:26 am

[quote=Wingtips56,reply=3]
Horizon (Alaska) doesn't have running water to the sink either, using wipes. More of an economic thing.

You beat me to it    
fly-n-HI-808
 
CRJ900
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:33 am

We have experienced frozen water pipes on the Boeing 737 where I work, when the aircraft has been overnighting in winter in Scandinavia. No hot coffee is not popular at 7am on a cold morning, especially for the pilots.

I have visited Winnipeg in January, and it was -43 degrees Centigrade! Fully understand that WestJet doesn't want to risk frozen water pipes.
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AA737-823
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:39 am

It's actually a thing, and they're not (necessarily) being cheap. Particularly when you consider that the cost of operating the lavatory sink is really limited to a few cents worth of paper towels and soap, plus tankering a few gallons of potable water around.

But yes, when the plane gets cold at night, the water lines freeze. This isn't limited to the Q400, by ANY means.
And turning on the heat a few hours early doesn't solve it.
Here in Alaska, even though we run coldbusters at night, the water lines STILL FREEZE. And once they're frozen, even hours and hours in the hangar won't thaw them. Couple that with the possibility that the lines burst when they froze, and SURELY YOU GUYS will cut them a little slack???
 
YYZatcboy
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:01 am

All Canadian Q4 operators do this in the winter. This is routine and happens every year.

[Edited 2015-01-03 03:05:06]
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shamrock137
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:14 am

This isn't uncommon even in the northern US. One solution is to leave a heat PC air cart hooked up overnight but these are harder with the Q400's as they dont usually use jetbridges therefore they can't use jetbridge air and its expensive to run a diesel powered heat cart overnight.
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MEA-707
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:15 am

With the max flight duration of these Q400s is 2, perhaps 3 hours it can do well without water in the lavatories, the wipes and soap is OK. Would cost hundreds to have only a few pax per flight be able to wash their hands with water, not worth it. I'd suggest to change this sensationalist title, any DHC aircraft is doing what it should do in Canadian winters.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
Thenoflyzone
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:36 pm

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 9):
I'd suggest to change this sensationalist title, any DHC aircraft is doing what it should do in Canadian winters.

  

You want an aircraft that's temperamental to Canadian winters? I hear the E170/190s need a lot of tender love and care in the mornings when starting up from a cold soak.

[Edited 2015-01-03 07:48:09]
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yvphx
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:51 pm

During the winters in PHX (yes I know, laugh if you must) we were required to drain potable water from the aircraft for a RON. The idea was to prevent water lines from freezing. Secondary, it also ensured fresh water for the following days flight.

The aircraft were RJ-200 & RJ-900
 
29erUSA187
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:56 pm

This is a problem we don't have here in SAN        
Coldest Day all year was 45º.
I wonder if northeast Airports like JFK, LGA, and BOS have to drain the water from the tanks and valves
 
DDR
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:23 pm

When ASA flew the ATR-72 they did not have running water either. Wipes were placed in the sink. There were also no coffee makers in the galley. Coffee was kept in a large metal container that was plugged in to keep the coffee and water hot.
 
txlbased
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:35 pm

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 7):
All Canadian Q4 operators do this in the winter. This is routine and happens every year

same in germany with airberlin (AB). even when our winters aren´t that cold than the canadian ones, water systems are out of service from december to march.
You have your office cubicle. I have mine - it roars!
 
CRJ 900
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:16 pm

Jazz doesn't have sinks in the bathroom and we have coffee machines in the galley that run the same as the ones u have at home....add h20 and brew..to be honest would prefer hot jugs than the coffee machines (more trouble than they worth just for "brewed" coffee). We were all annoyed when we got the aircraft and found out that it didn't have any running h20, line freezing was the reason the company gave us.
 
jetmatt777
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:24 pm

Just like in your house, if the water line freezes, there's great potential for the line to rupture.

Unlike your house, the airplane would cost 10x more to repair the lines and water damage.

The only solution is to keep the heat cart on the plane overnight (which there are never enough for each airplane), run the APU (if these have them--some Q's don't IIRC), or drain the lines so no water will freeze and lines won't burst.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
L0VE2FLY
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:38 pm

Quoting Skydrol (Thread starter):
Canadian Winters Are Too Cold For Q400

...and Arizonian Summer heat waves are too hot for the CRJ!   Let's hope the CSeries won't be as prone to extreme temperatures.   
 
airtran737
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:24 pm

I had a DC-10 freeze on me in FRU a few years back, and we had drained the potable water. It's a good decision to use the wipes as opposed to risking the lines freezing.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
as739x
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:06 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 1):
I'm not sure I get that. Is it because they freeze when on the ground and idle? Because it's cold as heck at altitude anywhere.

Because at altitude when flying or on the ground when engines are on you have bleed air from the engines to heat things up. Shutdown at night your at the mercy of the elements. Water in pipes freezing is never a good thing when it expands.

On a Canadian note. One of the odder issues we have had regarding weather with CR7's is that once below -40c the aircraft were not able to depart because there are no performance numbers for the aircraft. On occasion flights have had to wait for temps to come up, just so the crews would know how the plane would perform. Kind of a funny joke in the office, ca Canadian plane not being able to operate in Canada due to Canadian weather.
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Beatyair
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:09 pm

Someone is pulling your leg! I can see up in the northern territories but not where population centres are.
 
FlyingAY
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:15 pm

Does this happen only for the smaller planes? What about an A330 or a 777 staying overnight at a cold airport (HEL can be -30 degrees centigrade some nights and assume many airports where Air Canada operates long haulplanes as well)? Surely no long haul will take place completely without water. How is the problem solved on those planes and why it cannot be solved that way on these smaller ones?
 
starrymarkb
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:41 pm

Quoting FlyingAY (Reply 21):
Does this happen only for the smaller planes? What about an A330 or a 777 staying overnight at a cold airport (HEL can be -30 degrees centigrade some nights and assume many airports where Air Canada operates long haulplanes as well)? Surely no long haul will take place completely without water. How is the problem solved on those planes and why it cannot be solved that way on these smaller ones?

As suggested above Big tin tends to be connected to a jetway and shore supply overnight, where as the props and RJs tend to end up at remote stands overnight where they need either a diesel GPU (not cheap and not enough of them)
 
Thenoflyzone
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:46 pm

Quoting as739x (Reply 19):
One of the odder issues we have had regarding weather with CR7's is that once below -40c the aircraft were not able to depart because there are no performance numbers for the aircraft.

I believe it is the same for the Embraers. The Boeing's and Airbuses are good until -54 C I think.
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
pasu129
Posts: 504
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:25 pm

Maybe the cold Canadian weather causes this?
http://youtu.be/nrl3ex7w6nA?t=10s

  
Viva Las Vegas
 
INFINITI329
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:49 pm

Quoting pasu129 (Reply 24):

Maybe the cold Canadian weather causes this?
http://youtu.be/nrl3ex7w6nA?t=10s

What gets me is the idiot who thinks he can stop a 737..
  
 
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KaiGywer
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:54 pm

Our solution to this problem in BIS on the CRJs was to drain the water tanks every night and refilling in the morning. Problem solved.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
JAGflyer
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:52 am

Frozen pipes and drain masts (on the ground) are common occurrences anywhere planes are parked at low temperatures (below -5 centigrade) for several hours without the APU on or a heater cart. IIRC, on the 737 all sink water (from lavs and galleys) is discharged overboard via the heated (in flight) drain masts. Only vacuum toilet waste is held in a tank (which have heated jackets installed) for later drainage.
If you flew today, thank a Flight Dispatcher!
 
Skydrol
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:53 am

The title wasn't intended to be sensationalistic, but was the best way I could describe in a short title what WestJet Encore is conveying to their passengers.
Liked here: http://www.westjet.com/guest/en/help/encore.shtml

The irony is the airplane is being built in Canada, and an onboard system was not designed for one thing Canada is known the world over for: cold winters.
If the airline has to inform passengers on their website to expect the potable water system to be inop due to Canadian winter temperatures. why bother having washbasins at all? If pax can take a dump in January and survive without washing their hands with hot water, why would it be necessary in June? Neither DH8 or B1900D has a washbasin in the lav, so why not save the weight an do away with the system if it cannot be used for close to half a year?






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thebatman
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:56 am

Quoting CRJ900 (Reply 5):
We have experienced frozen water pipes on the Boeing 737 where I work, when the aircraft has been overnighting in winter in Scandinavia.

Here at ORD, it is common to hook up jetway PC air or a heating unit, or if need be, turn on the APU and run the packs. With our 737s, we also close the outflow valve 3/4 of the way to prevent water lines near the outflow valve from freezing. This is the only aircraft that we do this with, the other NB and WB airplanes are fine with heat only.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 6):
But yes, when the plane gets cold at night, the water lines freeze. This isn't limited to the Q400, by ANY means. And turning on the heat a few hours early doesn't solve it.

Exactly. Whenever we get an airplane with frozen water lines, we have to bring it inside the hangar and let it thaw.
Aircraft mechanics - because pilots need heroes too!
 
Super Em
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 1:58 am

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Reply 12):

Yes in NYC we drain the water on the 320 and 190 if the A/C is RON. Also we try to park the water and lav trucks in the bag room to keep them warm.
 
bucchinij
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:45 am

You may want to add that it is probably a better solution to use alcohol wipes rather than having to wonder if the water tank passed its last E. coli test.
 
N867DA
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:30 am

Quoting bucchinij (Reply 31):
You may want to add that it is probably a better solution to use alcohol wipes rather than having to wonder if the water tank passed its last E. coli test.

This is a good point. Many airlines provide hand wipes in the lavs and discontinue tea/coffee service if the aircraft tank didn't pass its test. As long as there is a way to sanitize everything that needs to be kept clean, I see no problem with this arrangement.
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
 
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northwestEWR
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:51 am

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 26):
Our solution to this problem in BIS on the CRJs was to drain the water tanks every night and refilling in the morning. Problem solved.

Same thing for most of the Midwest. The ramp crews would just drain the tanks when doing their RON cleaning service anyway. I believe we had to do it if the weather was going to be under 40F? Easy enough... until the water tanks or supply lines on the ramp freeze.  
Northwest Airlines - Now You're Flying Smart
 
COSPN
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:18 pm

YYZ does not allow draining of the water on the ramp like the US does not sure why..
 
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northwestEWR
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:41 pm

Quoting COSPN (Reply 34):
YYZ does not allow draining of the water on the ramp like the US does not sure why..

Perhaps because it usually puddles on the ramp and then freezes making a huge ice patch. Our tug drivers and rampers in general had to be very careful!
Northwest Airlines - Now You're Flying Smart
 
Viscount724
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:52 pm

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 17):

...and Arizonian Summer heat waves are too hot for the CRJ! Let's hope the CSeries won't be as prone to extreme temperatures.

I recall a few years ago some carriers (Southwest was one) had to cancel flights on 737s and other types when PHX temperatures were higher than covered by their performance charts.

Quoting as739x (Reply 19):
On a Canadian note. One of the odder issues we have had regarding weather with CR7's is that once below -40c the aircraft were not able to depart because there are no performance numbers for the aircraft. On occasion flights have had to wait for temps to come up, just so the crews would know how the plane would perform. Kind of a funny joke in the office, ca Canadian plane not being able to operate in Canada due to Canadian weather.
Quoting Beatyair (Reply 20):
Someone is pulling your leg! I can see up in the northern territories but not where population centres are.

It also affects major cities. Few years ago I recall AC (Jazz) having to cancel CRJ200 flights from YEG when temperatures dropped below -40C (same as F) for a few days. Didn't affect any other types. AC has several aircraft overnighting at YEG where temperatures below -30C aren't unusual. They have procedures to cover it.
 
29erUSA187
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Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:28 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 36):
I recall a few years ago some carriers (Southwest was one) had to cancel flights on 737s and other types when PHX temperatures were higher than covered by their performance charts.

I was there. I was connecting from BOS-SAN through PHX, and we were delayed for 5 hours. We were on a 737-700, so we were able to depart earlier than most of the other A/C. I felt so bad for the People on the BA flight. They sure weren't going anywhere. When we finally got to go, it was the longest takeoff roll I have ever experienced.
 
CRJ900
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RE: Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:46 pm

Got this story via email from a fellow A.netter: JimSBA

"Way back in 1952 I was a flight steward (correct title at that time) with Wisconsin Central Airlines. Our DC-3s had steam radiators in the cabin. The steam was generated in from steam jackets around the exhaust manifolds of the piston engines. Sometimes at our stops in Northern Minnesota (Duluth, Hibbing, International Falls) the steam pipes would freeze and there would be no cabin heat. Then could not carry passengers, only the mail."

Thanks for the input, Jim. DC-3, how cool is that  
Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
 
ACDC8
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RE: Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:57 pm

Interesting ... I'm on North Cariboo's Q400 every 3rd week ... will have to use the lav next time and take a peek.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
LH707330
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RE: Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:36 am

Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 35):
Quoting COSPN (Reply 34):
YYZ does not allow draining of the water on the ramp like the US does not sure why..

Perhaps because it usually puddles on the ramp and then freezes making a huge ice patch. Our tug drivers and rampers in general had to be very careful!

If it all goes out the drain mast anyway, why can't they just dump the tanks right before landing?
 
Whiteguy
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RE: Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:16 am

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 40):
If it all goes out the drain mast anyway, why can't they just dump the tanks right before landing?

Because most drain handles are on the outside in a panel, same panel that you fill the tank in.
 
charlienorth
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RE: Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:31 am

Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 35):
Perhaps because it usually puddles on the ramp and then freezes making a huge ice patch. Our tug drivers and rampers in general had to be very careful

Years ago I worked the ramp in MSP and we had a barrel on a small cart, we would drain the water into that and dump it on an unused part of the ramp, otherwise it could be kind of sketchy pushing the aircraft over the ice.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
LH707330
Posts: 2225
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

RE: Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:14 pm

Quoting whiteguy (Reply 41):
Quoting LH707330 (Reply 40):
If it all goes out the drain mast anyway, why can't they just dump the tanks right before landing?

Because most drain handles are on the outside in a panel, same panel that you fill the tank in.

...and there's no interior "drain all" switch?
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 3961
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RE: Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:08 pm

Quoting LH707330 (Reply 43):
..and there's no interior "drain all" switch?

No. Just like you can't drain the lav in flight, you can't dump water. There's no purpose to do so.

In the event of an emergency, where landing weight was critical...we are still only talking 20-50lbs of water on smaller planes, and perhaps several hundred pounds on the larger ones. If the most you are going to lower your weight is 200lbs, you will have burned that much fuel after several minutes. Or if you are dumping fuel, you will have dumped that much in several seconds. There's no point to dumping potable water in the air, thus no mechanical function to allow it. It's such an insignificant weight on the aircraft.

You can get rid of it if you really want to by filling coffee pots up with water, and then pouring the coffee pots into the galley drain. But, again...not much point.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
LH707330
Posts: 2225
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:27 pm

RE: Are Canadian Winters Too Cold For Q400?

Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:46 pm

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 44):
No. Just like you can't drain the lav in flight, you can't dump water. There's no purpose to do so.

Well, the lav makes sense, you don't want to be dumping that all over the place. To your point though, the use case of "Canadian airports won't let us dump water on the ramp" probably didn't factor high on the list.

I suppose a workaround would be just to link a small tube between the tap and the sink to drain all the water before landing, that way they can get rid of the water without it freezing in their lines or on the ramp.

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