Q400 How-To Videos Available


Chief among the many comments and reactions to the suicide by Rich Russell in a Horizon Airlines Q400 on Friday was the wonder about how a ramp attendant could take off and do aerobatics in a regional airliner. Well, Russell may have provided the answer himself. He told air traffic controllers he played video games and that gave him some confidence in the left seat of a 60,000-pound airliner. He also operated tugs to move the aircraft around SeaTac so was familiar with at least some of the systems of the aircraft. As for the rest, he could have consulted YouTube.

Although it’s not clear what video games he played or how he learned from them, AVweb’s cursory search of the web found a variety of videos he could have consulted. The two that appear below are the most detailed and instructional we found and it’s not known if Russell used them, but they appear high in Google searches. In these, a Flight Simulator X expert who is also a self-proclaimed fan of the Q400 provides clear direction on operating the aircraft. How do you start a Q400? Learn every switch to flick and every lever to push and pull in Video 1. How about getting it off the ground and maneuvering it in flight? Video 2 is more than 90 minutes long and takes the virtual pilot from Papua New Guinea to Australia but all the information is there for someone interested in learning it. Again, there’s no evidence that Russell used these or any other how-to videos from YouTube to ultimately end his life in a ball of fire and shattered aluminum but they’re there and it’s likely something that will be investigated.