MIAMI — An Air Astana Embraer E190 performing test flight KC1388 had to divert to Beja Airport in Portugal due to a complete loss of instruments, which caused its pilots to losing partial control of the aircraft.
The aircraft involved was P4-KCJ with an age of 5.9 years since manufactured.
The plane had been in maintenance at Alverca Airport in Portugal since October 2, receiving a C Check.
The flight departed at 13:30 local time bound for Cairo, Egpyt but shortly after takeoff, things changed drastically.
Two Portuguese Air Force F16s were scrambled after the E190’s pilots declared the emergency.
It was reported that the Embraer’s crew asked the Portuguese ATC vector for ditching the plane in the sea, but the F16s pilots persuaded them not too. The E190 landed safely at Beja Airport just after 15:00 local time.
FlightRadar24 shows the plane had an erratic flight path with constant changes in speed and altitude.
Even though the airplane-tracking website showed that the plane’s origin was Lisbon, it was, in fact, Alverca Airport.
Air Astana has released a statement in regards to the emergency landing saying that “On November 11, Air Astana’s Embraer 190 plane operated KC1388 ferry service from the Lisbon Aviation Technical Center. Due to technical reasons during the flight, the aircraft safely landed at the military airport of Beja. There were no passengers on board.”
This could have been yet another incident in the aviation arena in less than 10 days, following the fatal crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Indonesia, as well as the damaged SkyLease Cargo 747 in Halifax, and the FlyJamaica 757 in Georgetown, both of which overran the runway after landing.
Air Astana is the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, with a fleet that bears an average 8.5 years. Its mix of A320/A321ceos, Embraer 190 E1s, Boeing 757s
The airline is currently undertaking a fleet renewal program. They have recently received a couple of Airbus A320/A321neos, also expecting to welcome its first Embraer 190 E2 shortly.