Air Astana Plane Lands Safely Following Terrifying Flight Path

Filed Under: Misc.

@AirlineFlyer (who is always on top of this stuff and extremely knowledgable) shares on Twitter the incident that’s currently unfolding with an Air Astana Embraer 190.

Let’s start with the good news — the plane landed safely.

Earlier today a five year old Air Astana Embraer 190 was departing Portugal when the pilots squawked 7700, which is the numbers the crew types into their transponder as a distress signal.

Flight tracking software reveals that the flight had an almost unbelievable flight path, as the crew reported having serious flight control issues. While some of the circles make sense (it looks like they’re holding), the very abrupt and sharp turns are very unusual.

Image from Flightradar24

The flight ended up diverting to Beja Airport, where it landed safely after two go arounds.

The plane had been on the ground in Portugal since early October, where it was flown for maintenance. This wasn’t a scheduled flight, but rather this was a test flight with just six people onboard. The incident was so serious that fighter jets ended up being deployed, and it’s reported that apparently the issues were so serious that they were even considering ditching the plane in the water.

Details are still emerging, so I’m sure we’ll known more in the coming hours and days after a full investigation.

All we know for sure as of now is that this was a test flight with just six people onboard, they had serious control issues, and thank goodness they landed safely.

I can’t even imagine what it must have been like watching this unfold live, especially towards the beginning.

(Featured image courtesy of Myroslav Kaplun)

  1. Lucky, It was supposed to be a test flight. They landed safely at Beja on the third Go-Around. Only 6 people on Board. No regular Flight. They even had a moment thinking of a ditching in the Tagus River. Ditching in the Sea is a free entry to your grave. We have extremely bad weather over here nowadays, wind and rain. And the hole continents beaches has waves not below 5m. And those are the small ones.

  2. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who followed this whole situation while it was still unfolding – the pilot declaring the flight is uncontrollable, with fighter jets accompanying the plane, then announcing the plane is under control and they have clear visuals… I was literally praying for this plane to land safely… So uber happy & well done once again to, obviously, well trained pilots!

  3. Are Embraer-190s having a lot of problems lately? Remember Aeromexico’s accident a couple months ago which the company blamed on the pilots not following procedures.

  4. I listened to liveATC at Lisbon when this happened. They were talking about ditching for a few minutes, but they couldn’t get the plane to fly where they wanted (as far as I could tell). Then the controller and the fighter that was deployed managed to convince them to divert. Also if you look on FR24 you’ll see that from the point they took off until when they managed to get the plane under control it was a full hour of uncontrollable flight, so this crew truly pulled off something incredible. There’s video of the landing too

  5. @Nelson – What are you talking about??. Many jets have ditched in the water with people surviving. US A320 in the Hudson River NYC, Ethiopian 767 Indian Ocean. It’s not ideal obviously.

  6. @Jordan

    Nelson was taking about landing in the sea with the conditions we’re having in Portugal right now. It would be pretty much impossible to survive by landing the plane in that sea. The Ethiopian plane landed on very calm sea and still dozens of people died.

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