Horizon Air Donates Q400 to Portland Community College
Airlines Education

Horizon Air Donates Q400 to Portland Community College

DALLAS — On the morning of Friday, Nov. 18, Horizon Air (QX) flew a Bombardier Q400 to Hillsboro Airport (HIO) and donated the former commercial aircraft to the Portland Community College (PCC) Foundation.

The Q400 will be used by PCC’s Aviation Science (AVS) and Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) programs for hands-on training on modern engine and avionics technologies.

College staff, students, partners, and community members were on hand for remarks and the landing of the Bombardier Q400 – Dr. Adrien Bennings, PCC President; Jennifer Monnig, PCC Foundation Board President; Steve Nagy, Director of Airport Operations, HIO; and Archie Vega, Director of Line/Base Maintenance and Student Development, Horizon Air.

As a result of the donation, PCC’s aviation programs will now have access to additional modern hands-on learning opportunities with this donation.

“It’s critical to have hands-on experience for our students, and we’re doing that with this donation for aviation maintenance,” said Bennings. “Collaboration and partnership with the community make great things happen.”

This donated Horizon Q400 will be housed at HIO for students and faculty to work on. The avionics systems and structure will remain intact, allowing students to gain hands-on experience with a large transport aircraft.

In addition to the Q400, Horizon donated 50 iPads to ensure they have the latest procedures and manuals to operate the aircraft to commercial standards.

The Horizon Air Q400 received a water cannon salute from the Hillsboro Fire Department. Photo: Portland Community College

An Avenue Toward Becoming Pilots


PCC, and schools like it in the country, are the primary means by which the aviation industry gains new workers, and it is critical the college has relevant tools for students to train with and on. PCC’s aviation programs provide students with the required experience and education to qualify to sit for the federal certification exams.

Since 1969, the programs have trained high-quality graduates to enter the aviation maintenance profession as well as work as professional pilots.

The AMT program has a success rate (first time taking each class) of around 70%, which is nearly double the rate of PCC as a whole. Of the AMT students that attempt the certification exams after completing the program, nearly 100% become certified.

“This is about the future, this is about students, this is about aviation tomorrow,” said Steve Nagy, director of Airport Operations.

PCC aviation maintenance alum Kayler Randall. Photo: Portland Community College

Horizon Aircraft Training


Though all passenger seats will be removed, the plane’s avionics systems and structure will be intact for students to perform hands-on learning with a large transport aircraft.

The college’s AMT program plans to use the aircraft to immerse students in modern commercial aircraft technology and turbine engine dynamics.

Other learning tasks include analyzing the use of modern maintenance documentation to perform and troubleshoot; training on the common servicing and maintenance procedures encountered by new mechanics in the field; reviewing electronic flight deck systems and maintenance diagnostics; and practicing engine run and aircraft taxi procedures, as well as aircraft ground movement practices.

On its part, the AVS program will conduct transport aircraft systems familiarization training, including turbine engine education, and transport aircraft avionics (instruments and navigation), and use it as an airline and transport aircraft procedural trainer.

High school students in the O-ACE program, a collaborative effort between PCC, Hillsboro School District, and the Oregon Air Show Charitable Foundation, will also benefit from this donation.


Featured image: Horizon’s Bombardier Q400 lands at Hillsboro Airport. Photo: Portland Community College

Alireza is an avionics engineer, commercial pilot student, aviation books author, and aviation magazine writer. Based in Iran.

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