Wild Ride For E190 Crew Over Portugal


A crew of six doing what appears to have been a post-maintenance check on an Astana Airlines Embraer E190 nearly ditched the aircraft in the ocean after it became uncontrollable shortly after takeoff. The crew reported multiple system failures as they endured a wild ride over the countryside northeast of Lisbon, Portugal, where the aircraft had apparently been undergoing maintenance for more than a month. Flight tracking sites showed the plane, owned by the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, alternately diving and climbing as the crew tried to wrestle it under control. At one point they announced their intention to try a water landing because they didn’t think they could control the little jet enough to land it.

Portugal launched two F-16s to shadow the aircraft as the crew started making headway in restoring normal flight. They asked air traffic control for an airport with good weather and were escorted to an air force base by the Vipers for a safe landing. It’s not clear what exactly turned the regional airliner into a mechanical bull but all the various authorities are investigating.