Hey guys! Welcome to my newest flight report of my aviation trip to Perú. This time, my last domestic roundtrip to Huánuco with LC Perú's Bombardier Q400.
When I made this flight, LC Perú was the third biggest airline in Perú in domestic traffic, behind LATAM and Peruvian. With a mixed fleet of 737-500s and Q400, they had a flexibility that allowed them to connect Lima to big cities in the country as well as regional destinations.
In November 2018, though, the government paralyzed for indefinite time the airline operations for safety reasons. Until this day, if I'm not mistaken, many of their airplanes still lie in Lima waiting for their next operator.
Well, back to the report. this flight with LC Perú would be right after my 737-200 roundtrip. For this reason, early in the morning, right after arriving in the airport, I made my check-in. This was in order to avoid possible delays in my 737 legs.
It was a really quick operation, once there was no line. I also asked for the boarding pass of my return flight, already thinking about the photos in Huánuco.
Even though my Piura flight had left Lima with a slight delay, we returned to Lima relatively on time. When I rushed again to the airside, the crew that would be in my flight was still waiting for the van to take them to the aircraft. So I told them about my situation, asking not to deboard when we get to Huánuco, once I wanted to photograph the aircraft.
My boarding pass for this flight
Domestic departures in Lima
The passengers were called for boarding on time, at 12:23. Once the Q400 is a smaller aircraft, boarding is made in a remote position. Therefore, we were put in a bus, then taken to the aircraft at 12:42. The flight was full, with all 76 seats occupied.
We would fly on N404AV, originally delivered to SAS in March 2001. After being stored in the end of 2007, it was delivered to the Peruvian carrier Servicios Aéreos de los Andes in December 2013. In November 2015, it was finally transfered to LC Perú. Data was obtained from Airfleets.
Remote position boardings always provide some great sights.
It was not for nothing I was one of the last ones to get on the cabin then…
As there was only one bus, soon the boarding was finished. At 12:55, exactly on the estimated time, our pushback was started and engines were started, producing a very low sound. It's not for nothing that the "Q" in "Q400" means "quiet".
Unfortunately the windows were super dirty.
Right after the taxi was started, the aircraft stopped and both flight attendants went to help a passenger which seemed not to feel well. As soon as the problem was solved, with the passenger feeling better, we continued.
At 13:18 we lined up on Jorge Chávez airport runway and in a few moments the captain applied full throttle on the Pratt & Whitney PW150A engines. The aircraft surprised me for its silence and for the high power. Making a simplistic comparison with the ATR 72-600, the Q400 seems to be more robust and to have a better performance overall.
In a few seconds we were through the fog layer that covers Lima during almost the whole winter.
In some minutes the two FAs started the onboard service. Such a short flight demands a lot of agility from their side to serve 78 passengers, which inhibits a very friendly contact between them and the passengers. Nevertheless, both were as cordial as possible.
The airline website informed LC Perú served snacks. Yet, the service on this flights was composed solely by drinks. I assume this may be due to the short duration of the flight.
I took my short time to take a walk through the cabin. Indeed, the Q400 was already showing its age, with the leather of the seats pretty beaten-up. The cabin also passed a sensation of darkness.
Take a look at my tray table, for example:
The bathroom, at least, was clean. Of course the space was limited, but it's all right considering it's a regional turboprop.
This photo is always a must, innit ;-)
Well, back to my seat. Pitch was nice for a turboprop, but I think the ATR is more comfortable, for example.
The reading lights panel was normal, but it's always worth the photo.
The only entertainment option was the window sights - nothing bad, I think you'll all agree with that. If only the windows weren't that dirty…
But the panoramic flight, as you may imagine, was over in a few minutes. At 13:46, 28 minutes after the take-off, the captain started our descent. Once the Q400 has a very limited cruise altitude, and Huánuco is also located in a pretty high area, it didn't take too much for us to be near the mountains.
We made a hard landing in Huánuco at 13:58, three minutes after the estimated time.
Sometimes, when I'm flying, I massively regret not to have chosen to be an airline pilot. This one was one of the most beautiful approaches I've ever seen. The short final consists in a sharp turn, very near to the ground. It may seem like a super difficult operation, but I believe for the pilots this is something normal - it's their daily job, in the end!
It's also cool to observe the operation of the landing gear from the window.
At 14:03 N404AV parked in the super small Huánuco ramp, with a fast deboarding. After that, I took the little time I had to photograph the aircraft.
The blue leather seats are pretty, but they intensify the notion of darkness in the cabin.
While the boarding of the return flight was started, I took some photos of the plane with that unbelievable landscape behind. Well, the photos can speak better than me about that.
That's how my LC Perú experience was. This operation was interesting, not the best service around, of course, but obviously very adequate for a super short flight like this one in a regional airline.
Overall, as I said before, this one was an ok flight experience, all things considered. Considering the short duration of the flight, all services were pretty adequate. Aircraft was in a pretty bad shape, but I really enjoyed trying the Q400, once I'm used to fly the ATR in Brazil. I still prefer the ATR, though!
Cabin: the seats were pretty comfortable for a turboprop, but the cabin was pretty dirty.
Cabin crew: they did what they could for such a short hop like this.
Entertainment: just the windows. Not bad for a flight like this, but a magazine would've been a nice touch for sure.
Catering: if you announce snacks, then serve snacks. I understand this is a super short flight, but they should make this clear at least.