By Boran Pivčić
All photos author
Okay, another departure from the GA norm, but I couldn’t resist but post this here :). In a twist of good aviation fortune, my direct flight from Paris to Zagreb on Croatia Airlines (after the Paris Air Show) had been canceled and I was re-booked on Paris-Split-Zagreb, changing aircraft at Split. What at first was mild annoyance turned into excitement when I opened the flight schedule Croatia Airlines had sent me – 1. it would be my first ever flight connection, and 2. I’d finally get my chance to fly aboard one of the company’s new Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s :).
Normally, still under photographic impressions from Paris, I was determined to make the best of it and already planned all the cabin shots I would upload to Airliners.net (good motivation 🙂 ). However, despite a friend of mine from Lučko being the F/O on this flight, I did not want to ask for cockpit access on such a short 30 minute flight – knowing full well from my own (limited) piloting and air traffic control experience that on this sector I’d just be in the way in the tight cockpit of the Dash 8.
Just to mention, the Q400 is the newest type in Croatia Airlines’ fleet, having replaced our aging ATR-42-300s. Four aircraft have been ordered with three delivered at the time of writing, making the Q400 the first new non-European type to be operated by the company (CA – or rather CTN per IATA – also operates a mix of A319s and A320, with Boeing 737-200Advs and leased BAe 146s having been operated in the past).
Anyways, after a two hour delay at Split – a slight birdstrike on the aircraft’s previous leg from Vienna necessitating some mx – I was aboard my first ever Dash 8 (flight OU6657) and ready for the off :).