Air Astana Embraer E190 major loss of control

Investigations have been opened in order to find out what caused an Air Astana Embraer E190 to lose control to the point where the pilots prepared for a ditching in the sea.

After having completed a C-Check in Lisbon, Air Astana flight KC1388 took off for its ferry flight to Almaty. Soon after departure, the pilots issued a ‘Mayday’, reporting a serious loss of control with the aircraft and contacted air traffic control with their intentions of ditching if they could not resolve the issue.

Shortly after the contact with ATC, two F-16s were scrambled to intercept and keep a visual eye on the aircraft.

Descent instructions from ATC that were intended to aid the aircraft towards a safe landing were rejected by the pilots, who at the time, were focusing on keeping the aircraft in the air. Data transmitted from the aircraft displays erratic speed and altitude figures.

Not long after the mayday call, the pilots reported the aircraft in a completely unstable state and asked for the nearest suitable place for a sea ditching, where ATC pointed to a nearby river.

Three pilots and three engineers were onboard at the time and all worked hard to keep the aircraft away from densely populated areas. Eventually ATC was contacted with the pilots stating they had regained manual control of the aircraft and intended to divert to Beja, where three approaches were needed before successfully making it onto firm ground.

Air Astana states the aircraft, P4-KCJ, suffered from significant roll-axis stability problems, according to initial findings. This all took place in an environment where the weather wasn’t optimal for an aircraft that had poor control abilities.

The aircraft will remain in place until all systems can be verified by Embraer, investigators and maintenance crews. Any remedies will be noted and will be included in the final report of the incident.

Additional information regarding the incident will be published once released by the necessary outlets.

Public statement from Air Astana: