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Majestic Q400 Makes Me Feel Stupid

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:lol:

 

I don't recall how long it took me to become proficient in the Boeing or various other aircraft (e,g, ATR72), but this Dash is a handful.  It looks beautiful and the overall package is amazing though.

 

I'm trying to watch videos and read some of the documents.  Most of them aren't very descriptive of certain things.

 

More or less, learning the checklist items for certain phases of flight aren't a concern to me.  Yes they're way more involved than the 737 NG, or many other aircraft, but the ground items will come with time and don't need to be rushed.  I don't even think the stuff one does after takeoff or during approach is that bad, in terms of fuel pumps, lights, et cetera.  I've already pretty much mastered the items after take off and during approach.

 

What is really doing me in thus far is the FMC and radios.  I can set the transponder just fine for TCAS/ALT.  I can tune frequencies, and in fact tuned the ILS for SEA tonight just fine.  Worked like a charm.  Actually saved me since I was behind on some things and frustrated that the FMC and radios were a mystery.  I actually had to couple the APP, and I never do that.  Only ILS with hand flown maneuvering, unless there's a problem that takes my attention away from the approach.  Then again, the Boeing and smaller aircraft are so simple.

 

So, for the radios, why can't I seem to figure out how to dial in the ATIS?  This was my second flight, but the first flight I managed to get ATIS at YKM.  Tonight heading to SEA, I could not get 118.00 to do anything.  It was dialed in to practically all radios.  I turned the volume up, switched from green to white and back.  Turned the mic selector.  Played with nearly every knob and even attempted to get it to work with the FMS, which I don't understand either all that well.  Also, in other add ons, when using ATC for COM 1, the radio automatically dials in the next frequency when selected in menu.  This just shows 118.00.  Odd.  The manual is not very detailed in this manner.  Is there something I'm missing?  I bypassed the start-up and loaded the Taxi scenario tonight, whereas I started from cold and dark previously.  It just takes so long right now and I'm more concerned with learning the flight phases, FMC and radios.  I've never been confused with a radio.  I fell behind with the VNAV and APP simply because I tried so much to get the radio to play ATIS far enough out.  

 

I am watching videos for the FMC and hopefully will grasp it soon enough.  It's not very intuitive.  I think the Boeing is as simple as pie, but after so many years I likely didn't back then either.

 

Oh, and for the GPWS, how do I get the "flaps" warning to shut up on short final?  I set it to Flap 15 (middle) setting and still got the warning.  If landing flap 15, do I need to set it to GPWS flap 35?  Seems like that would alert on a 35 final then.   :fool:  

 

It's worth noting that despite a second flight and several screw ups/confusion, that the landing was pretty darn good.  I kept the power on until TD and it was very decent.  Strange. lol

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Oh, and for the GPWS, how do I get the "flaps" warning to shut up on short final?  I set it to Flap 15 (middle) setting and still got the warning.  If landing flap 15, do I need to set it to GPWS flap 35?  Seems like that would alert on a 35 final then.

 

Landing gear needs to be down first before flaps past 5.

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The q400 tires me out, so much to do and I don't like the cockpit layout or the fmc operation. Majestic did a great job on it. Flying the q400 in real life must be a chore. If you have the Pro edition get the latest update released recently, check their forums.

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You can tune the radios on the sets located on the pedestal or you can use the "Tune" section of the FMS. I use Radar Contact for air traffic control and I have it set to handle the comm frequency changes for me, but I do the NAV and ATC frequency changes.

 

I agree this aircraft is a handfull. I simplify things by using a standard fuel load of 8200 pounds, 38 passengers, and a reserve of 500 pounds. This puts me at a 1.5 hour flight with an approach speed of about 117 KIAS. I usually use 15 degrees of flaps and keep the power on all the way to touchdown.

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If you are willing to spend a little more money you can get FS2Crew which helps a little and i would also recommend the Airline2sim videos...

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+1 for the Airline2Sim videos. Very good lessons from a real life Q400 pilot, this really got me going with the Q400

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FS2Crew is really helpful! You will follow the checklists a little bit more attentiv than in the boeing for example :-)

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Hey Chris:

 

Re the "Flaps" sounding, ensure you have the "GPWS Landing Flap" switch (below thwe landing gear lever) is selected to the proper setting.

 

Re the tuning of the radios. Ensure you keep the SBY Com (in front of the throttles) off at all times. If I''m not mistaken, it overrides the two ARCDU's, (radio panels).

 

 

Hope this helps,

 

Roger Neves

 

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If you are willing to spend a little more money you can get FS2Crew which helps a little and i would also recommend the Airline2sim videos...

Without a doubt the best advice here

Also,

Whilst technically you have to manually tune the COM radios in the q400, the atc window will still work.

For example, tuning the atis using the atc window option will result in you hearing the broadcast despite the fact that radio display on the q400 doesn't actually move or change.

 

One of the more annoying traits to me of this otherwise excellent addon is this inability to have the radios and transponder tune via the atc window and the fact the 'b' key won't adjust the barometric pressure.

I'm all for realism, but sometimes a keyboard and mouse don't translate well to adjusting controls quickly in a one pilot sim aircraft.

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The q400 tires me out, so much to do and I don't like the cockpit layout or the fmc operation. Majestic did a great job on it. Flying the q400 in real life must be a chore. If you have the Pro edition get the latest update released recently, check their forums.

Sounds to me like you are use to the Boeing or Airbus FMS!  The Q400 FMS is less complicated and simple once you use it a number of times and follow a proper tutorial . I find the cockpit layout excellent and works well! Its not any more difficult then the 777, 737, A320 etc.....  just a little different. I suggest you try a proper training program like http://www.airline2sim.com/

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Sounds to me like you are use to the Boeing or Airbus FMS!  The Q400 FMS is less complicated and simple once you use it a number of times and follow a proper tutorial . I find the cockpit layout excellent and works well! Its not any more difficult then the 777, 737, A320 etc.....  just a little different. I suggest you try a proper training program like http://www.airline2sim.com/

less complicated than Boeing? I don't agree. I know how to use the Q400, it's just not designed right. vnav is annoying to put in and takes time, if you go direct to a different waypoint you have to setup vnav again. The ergonomics of the airplane is not good.

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less complicated than Boeing? I don't agree. I know how to use the Q400, it's just not designed right. vnav is annoying to put in and takes time, if you go direct to a different waypoint you have to setup vnav again. The ergonomics of the airplane is not good.

VNAV is rarely used in the Q400. It's used to set your initial decent point but VS is more common as in the real world ATC will continually change your altitude clearance. If the ergonomics of the airplane is not good then why does it sell??????  The Q400 is a fine aircraft and does its job extremely well

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Thanks for all the replies.  I was hoping to play more and learn today but it got away from me.  Too many last minute chores before I start my work week. 

 

It's odd about that COM not receiving anything.  I wonder it turning on the back up COM by the front displays has something to do with it.  Even then the backup COM was also on 118.00 so to not receive ATIS at SEA is weird.

 

Does everyone start Cold and Dark mainly?  I wonder if the start with Taxi scenario messes things up.  I swear when I started up the other night with Cold and Dark that the EFIS systems panels switched and stayed on, but the Taxi scenario required that I hold them down to view.  Maybe that's why the GPWS for Flaps 15 didn't seem to work.  Getting the "too low, flaps" warning on final didn't make sense. 

 

I realize I have a great deal to learn but truthfully between the COM issues and FMS, it's not that bad.  I do kinda agree with 777200lrf in that it's a busy aircraft.  It's not the best ergonomic layout, but in all honesty, no large turboprop is.  Look at the ATR.  More button, lights and switches than the space shuttle.  The Flight One ATR was easier though, I think because less things were truly modeled.  IDK, hard to remember.  No matter what, compared to nearly every newer jet, the turboprops require way too much fiddling.  In all seriousness, a switch to remind you for flaps that you have to set?  You already have to set the proper landing flap, but then to add to the step by forcing you to switch yet another dial for that flap setting is bizarre. 

 

Oh well, it'll be a while until I can try again.  Maybe I'll try and squeeze in some reading and video watching until then.  Thanks all.  :smile:

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+1 for the Airline2Sim videos. Very good lessons from a real life Q400 pilot, this really got me going with the Q400

 

these are highly recommended.

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Perhaps it's just me but after completing the two Majestic tutorials I had no issues with the FMS, radios or any other systems. I can go from cold and dark to ready for takeoff in a few minutes if the FMS doesn't require programming, but I have a lot of hours in the PMDG J41 which also has a Universal FMS so perhaps that gives me an advantage.

 

Compared to Airbus and Boeing, I find the FMS is much easier to initially setup and programme (a lot less data to input), but subsequently much harder to use/adjust once airborne. The VNAV is not very intuitive but after a few uses becomes understandable.

 

My problems were all connected to hand flying the aircraft, particularly smooth landings and dealing with yaw!

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Dont forget, its a regional airliner, and therefore is made cheaper for small, fast routes for the commuter airlines. It wont be as "friendly" as a 737 for example regarding autopilot.

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If you are willing to spend a little more money you can get FS2Crew which helps a little and i would also recommend the Airline2sim videos...

 

Best money I've spent towards learning an aircraft and systems, looking forward to their Airbus and Boeing series...... Chris there are numerous tutorials on the Q400 and pretty well any other aircraft on all SIm platforms on Youtube,

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FS2Crew also adds a whole new dimension of simming. Instead of flying as a solo pilot, you get a virtual First Officer to help you with your cockpit flows (and also to make sure you don't miss anything!) 

 

The virtual FO also does cockpit preparation tasks such as the Auto-Feathering of the engines right after engine start so you can focus on preparing for taxi while leaving the small (but important!) tasks to him. 

 

Highly recommend it! 

 

(note - I speak from my own personal opinion of the product, not from my Beta affiliation with FS2Crew) 

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Best money I've spent towards learning an aircraft and systems, looking forward to their Airbus and Boeing series...... Chris there are numerous tutorials on the Q400 and pretty well any other aircraft on all SIm platforms on Youtube,

Yeah I've watched a few. Some weren't as detailed as I'd like. I found one that explained the VNAV entry in the FMS really well. It didn't gloss over the details as much as others. Each video has its own highlights where some things are explained really well and others are kinda ignored. Likely due to not really knowing the system that well themselves. This guy is a pilot, albeit not a Q400 pilot, but at least he understands things better in that regard. In mind mind, based on the videos I've watched, I do feel like I understand the FMS well enough to accomplish a full flight without getting too lost. It's just so different than the Boeing which I find very easy. Each page on the Boeing IMO is almost self-explanatory. This odd submenu system and number selection is a weird way of doing things. JMO.

 

A few more trips in the FMS and I'll likely have it down. Eventually I'd like to learn a little more but some procedural items I'll never use. Kinda like the Boeing. You can customize the routes and change things up but I have no real need for that.

 

Once I am able to figure out why the radio is acting abnormal I'll be in much better shape to truly learn the plane. I sat on that apron forever trying to tune the ATIS. Really annoying. It worked fine the first time which I where I'm confused.

 

So the airline2sim videos are good? ~30 for the entire set? Are they designed to explain things appropriately? The preview videos are overdone and too "edgy". They're high production value and look nice but they aren't giving me an idea of how they truly play to the audience.

 

I'm going to compile the tutorials and probably make my own personal flow sheet, which I've never done before. lol

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Try finding a Dash Q400 checklist and work through the flows by yourself. Its a handful but the sense of achievement feels greater compared to handling the NGX by yourself. 

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Yeah I've watched a few. Some weren't as detailed as I'd like. I found one that explained the VNAV entry in the FMS really well. It didn't gloss over the details as much as others. Each video has its own highlights where some things are explained really well and others are kinda ignored. Likely due to not really knowing the system that well themselves. This guy is a pilot, albeit not a Q400 pilot, but at least he understands things better in that regard. In mind mind, based on the videos I've watched, I do feel like I understand the FMS well enough to accomplish a full flight without getting too lost. It's just so different than the Boeing which I find very easy. Each page on the Boeing IMO is almost self-explanatory. This odd submenu system and number selection is a weird way of doing things. JMO.

 

A few more trips in the FMS and I'll likely have it down. Eventually I'd like to learn a little more but some procedural items I'll never use. Kinda like the Boeing. You can customize the routes and change things up but I have no real need for that.

 

Once I am able to figure out why the radio is acting abnormal I'll be in much better shape to truly learn the plane. I sat on that apron forever trying to tune the ATIS. Really annoying. It worked fine the first time which I where I'm confused.

 

So the airline2sim videos are good? ~30 for the entire set? Are they designed to explain things appropriately? The preview videos are overdone and too "edgy". They're high production value and look nice but they aren't giving me an idea of how they truly play to the audience.

 

I'm going to compile the tutorials and probably make my own personal flow sheet, which I've never done before. lol

 

Once you get your head around the logic of the FMS it makes a lot of sense. Head over to youtube and type in a guy named Marshall Arbitman. His preferred aircraft is the 'Mighty Dash', his videos focus on varying flights and he provides an entertaining video showing "how to's", while undertaking an actual flight, another channel is Ehviator, who also provides Q400 tutorials, there many more.

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Chris,

 

To get the GPWS to stop ######ing, just set it to whatever final flaps you anticipate. So if you land with 15, set 15. As for the radios, you can do it directly on the ARCDU, or with the FMS Tune function. Just make sure you flip the selector on the ARCDU (The radio control panel) to FMS or Both.

 

As for my videos, well, if you want to hear me yammer about planes, politics, Polish sausage and quantum mechanics, then give 'em a try!

 

Otherwise, give the plane a chance, on its own terms. It's NOT a 737. It's NOT an Airbus. It is, however, when you get in the groove, a very satisfying machine to fly and, especially, hand-fly.

 

Best,

 

Marshall

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I'm slowly coming to terms with the Q400.  Airline2Sim videos have been a huge help.  So have Marshall's.  Can also highly recommend the checklist by Toby23.  I can't seem to link directly to it but if you go to the Majestic forums, on the main forum page you'll find it stickied under the title "Revised Q400 Checklists for the Dash-8 based on the Airline2Sim training - DOWNLOAD HERE." it's for single-pilot ops, covers all the important items but it's stripped down to essentials (e.g. no 24-hour tests) so it gets you going faster.  I haven't yet tried FS2Crew - reading through the tutorial flight, it seems to add to the workload, not reduce it (i.e. you've got to look after your flows and also manage the pilot monitoring). I'm not sure how much it reduces the switchology.  But maybe that's just my lack of familiarity talking, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

I love the Q400 for its mission (45-60 minute flights fit perfectly into the rest of my life) and they way it runs on my system - much, much more fluid than any of the other heavy iron.

 

But it's a workout to get up to speed on it, no question about that...

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I don´t find the Dash 8-Q400 worse to operate than the PMDG 737 - It´s just different.

 

Different means of propulsion, requiring different controls.

Different FMC, that is as intuitive as the Boeing/Honeywell, once You get the hang of it.

VNAV is different and cannot be compared to the larger Airliners VNAV.

 

Otherwise it is operated much like every other airliners

 

FinnJ

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Chris,

 

To get the GPWS to stop ######ing, just set it to whatever final flaps you anticipate. So if you land with 15, set 15. As for the radios, you can do it directly on the ARCDU, or with the FMS Tune function. Just make sure you flip the selector on the ARCDU (The radio control panel) to FMS or Both.

 

As for my videos, well, if you want to hear me yammer about planes, politics, Polish sausage and quantum mechanics, then give 'em a try!

 

Otherwise, give the plane a chance, on its own terms. It's NOT a 737. It's NOT an Airbus. It is, however, when you get in the groove, a very satisfying machine to fly and, especially, hand-fly.

 

Best,

 

Marshall

That's what's odd.  I did just what you said. The flaps warning was set to 15, my landing flap.  The radios were tuned via the FMS and ARCDU.  Something wasn't right, loading error or something.  I am starting to think the Taxi scenario isn't initializing things right.

I'm slowly coming to terms with the Q400.  Airline2Sim videos have been a huge help.  So have Marshall's.  Can also highly recommend the checklist by Toby23.  I can't seem to link directly to it but if you go to the Majestic forums, on the main forum page you'll find it stickied under the title "Revised Q400 Checklists for the Dash-8 based on the Airline2Sim training - DOWNLOAD HERE." it's for single-pilot ops, covers all the important items but it's stripped down to essentials (e.g. no 24-hour tests) so it gets you going faster.  I haven't yet tried FS2Crew - reading through the tutorial flight, it seems to add to the workload, not reduce it (i.e. you've got to look after your flows and also manage the pilot monitoring). I'm not sure how much it reduces the switchology.  But maybe that's just my lack of familiarity talking, so take it with a grain of salt.

 

I love the Q400 for its mission (45-60 minute flights fit perfectly into the rest of my life) and they way it runs on my system - much, much more fluid than any of the other heavy iron.

 

But it's a workout to get up to speed on it, no question about that...

I agree completely about the short hops.  I want to be in the flying phase, from runway to runway.  Apron time is nothing exciting, nor is planning.  And I don't have time to play for hours.  I'll look into the forums there and find that checklist.  I'm pretty sure I can access the read-only portions.  I haven't found a way to register there.  It wants an invitation code.  Where does one obtain that??  I bought it from Simmarket, so I don't get the "invitation" deal.  NVM, I finally see the process about emailing them with the order info.  Ok, I'll do that, lol.

 

Thanks, I just downloaded it. :smile:

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