Q400 First Officer Training Summary


We find out what Josh has been up to since we last saw him at the gate after our stressful go-around at Gatwick at the end of the Q400 Cadet Training Program, as well as answering some common questions that arose from the original series. Now flying the Airbus A320, Josh tells us how that particular jet compares with the good old Crash 8 and also gives us an overview on the contents of the First Officer Training Program.


So keen were we to get flying in the Q400 Cadet Training Program, we left the detailed walk-around inspection to the safety pilot. Now we’ve upgraded to First Officer, once our crew bus arrives at the parking position at the beautifully detailed Sumburgh airport in the blowy Scottish Islands, we take a in depth look all around the Q400 and learn a lot in the process – including why you might not want to sit at the back of it, or next to the prop!


Every pilot’s nightmare – a serious problem that calls for a rejected takeoff before the crucial decision speed of V1. Once we are speeding down Sumburgh’s short runway, Josh puts us through our paces as we show you how and why to stop a Q400 that is almost airborne.


Engine fires aren’t common, but when they strike the consequences can be serious. Fire and smoke can blow back against the aircraft fuselage and, as in the Manchester disaster in 1985, the cabin can quickly become engulfed. We discuss and learn the lessons from that disaster and this time have to deal not only with a rejected takeoff from a short runway at high speed but also a serious engine fire and evacuation.


We finally make it into the cold Scottish skies but Josh hasn’t finished with us yet. Just as we are passing V1 an engine fails, leaving us with a tiny margin to clear the terrain ahead. Watch and learn how a crew would deal with this situation and secure the failed engine, transfer fuel from one wing tank to the other and then make the decision whether to cross an hour of cold sea on one engine to Inverness to a longer runway, or risk a one engined landing back at Sumburgh’s short runway.


Safely back on terra firma after our engine failure, the winds are picking up as darkness falls across the Shetland Islands. We show you how to nail a perfect landing in the Q400 even when the winds are blowing at 40-50 knots.


We’ve been tasked with positioning an empty Q400 from London Gatwick back to Air UK Regional’s base in Southampton, England. Only problem is the wind is favouring the non-ILS runway which means we will have to shoot the VOR approach. Over this short, real time flight we show you how to perform this tricky approach in the workload heavy Q400, but keep your wits about you as Southampton’s runway is short AND narrow, even for a Q400!


The future is RNAV. We take the Q400 for one of the shortest real-world flights that it performs anywhere in the world – the short hop from the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands to Guernsey where we show you how to set up and fly an RNAV approach – and not everything goes quite to plan. Well the runway is only 1300m long….


If RNAV is the future, NDB is the past. It’s pretty rare now to fly an NDB approach in any airliner, but now and again at the odd remote airport you may be called upon to dust off those good old piloting skills. Thankfully Josh has done this plenty of times in the Q400, so he shows us how to get ourselves back across to Jersey with the FMS SWITCHED OFF. Yes, OFF. You read that correctly.


Bring those balls of steel for this one. Again, we perform a challenging real life Q400 flight from Manchester in England down to Chambery in the French Alps, where we can’t just shoot a nice and easy ILS approach due to the wind favouring an approach called ‘the circle’. If you don’t like towering mountains, visual maneuvering, gritted teeth and crossed fingers then don’t try this one at home. Well not at least unless you’ve watched Josh showing us how to do it first.


It’s a foggy day on the Isle of Man, out in the middle of the Irish Sea and it’s even worse in Liverpool, our destination for this morning. Josh explains to us all about CATII ILS approaches and how we will get ourselves down to Liverpool when we can barely see a foot in front of us. Departing from the Isle of Man on the short runway (yes, even shorter than Guernsey!) we hop over to Liverpool where the news isn’t good as the visibility is dropping all the time. Still, we have a go at making an approach but do we get in?


It’s not much fun operating the Q400 in winter. There’s a lot to think about when trying to keep ice and snow off the wings, props and tail and if you get wrong then it will end very badly. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in a whole video devoted to flying your Q400 through the snowy season.