Air Astana flight KC1388 lost control shortly after departing from Alverca Airport (ICAO: LPAR) on Sunday afternoon. The airport is located approximately 15km northeast of Lisbon International Airport.
Air Astana flight #KC1388 from Lisbon has declared a general emergency and is flying in circles over Portugalhttps://t.co/xWUliVj4ru pic.twitter.com/kpzaKGDzoA
— International Flight Network (@FlightIntl) November 11, 2018
The aircraft, an Embraer E190, registered as P4-KCJ, was flying in circles above Portugal. Live recordings reveal the pilots informed Air Traffic Control that the aircraft was uncontrollable and requested vectors to the ocean to execute an emergency ditching maneuver (landing on water). After about one hour in the air, they were able to regain some control of the Embraer jet and made an emergency landing on the second attempt at Beja Airport, southeast of Lisbon.
F16 fighter jets were deployed by the Portuguese Air Force to report from, and escort the aircraft.
Air Astana confirmed on Twitter that no passengers were on this flight. Only six crew members were on board. Reports say the crew was brought to hospital after landing, due to the shocking situation they’ve experienced.
The involved Embraer E190 spent six weeks on the ground at Alverca Airport, likely for maintenance. The Portuguese aerospace company ‘OMGA’ (Oficinas Gerais de Material Aeronáutico), which is an authorized maintenance centre for Embraer, is situated at the airport.
Air Astana currently operates 33 aircraft, nine of them are E190s. The airline also has E190-E2, the successor of this aircraft type, on order.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.