@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)