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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 217634
Last updated: 23 March 2019
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Time:c. 13:35 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic E190 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Embraer ERJ-190LR (ERJ-190-100 LR)
Owner/operator:Air Astana
Registration: P4-KCJ
C/n / msn: 19000653
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Unknown
Category:Serious incident
Location:NE of Lisbon -   Portugal
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Alverca Air Base (LPAR)
Destination airport:Minsk-2 International Airport (MSQ/UMMS)
Investigating agency: GPIAAF Portugal
Air Astana flight KC1388 diverted to Beja Airport, Portugal after suffering control issues after departure from Alverca Air Base, Portugal.

The aircraft had arrived at Lisbon on October 2 and underwent maintenance at the OGMA facilities, located at the Alverca Air Base. KC1388 was the first post-maintenance flight. The aircraft was to be ferried back to the operator base at Almaty, Kazakhstan, with a refueling stop-over at Minsk, Belarus. On board were a captain, two copilots, and three technicians. The aircraft took off at 13:31 hours UTC.

Immediately after take-off, with adverse meteorological conditions, the crew felt that the aircraft was not responding adequately to the commands, developing oscillatory wing movements.
The crew, using all the aircraft control resources for its 3 axis, immediately tried to counter the movements, however without understanding the cause for the flight instability and without being able to engage the autopilot.
Realising that they were without effective control of the aircraft, only being able – with considerable effort – to minimize the oscillatory movements, with high structural loads involved during some recovery manoeuvres and using crossed commands.
The crew immediately declared emergency while trying to diagnose the cause for the abnormal roll of the aircraft, continuing to struggle to gain its control, having no malfunction indication from the aircraft systems, just the continuous alerts for abnormal flight attitudes.
The flight requested to return to Alverca. About 13:37 UTC the flight requested to climb to FL100, again stating they had "flight control problems".
The situation did not improve, and the performed trajectories caused the aircraft and the persons on board to sustain intense G-forces, and causing the aircraft complete loss of control for some moments at multiple instances.
Considering the situation criticality, the crew requested several times for headings in order to be able to reach the sea for ditching, not being able, however, to keep the intended headings.
The crew then started a team work basis, discussing options with the third crewmember (co-pilot in the jump-seat) and trying to communicate with the technicians on board, to explore hypothesis and define an action plan. Despite no warnings for system failures, the crew decided to activate the flight controls direct mode elevators, rudder and spoilers), where the flight control module (FCM) is removed from the flight surfaces command chain, which are then controlled in a direct relationship with the pilots’ inputs on the yoke.
The situation improved considerably, however, without restoring normal operation and keeping the difficulties to control the aircraft roll-axis.
The crew realised that the ailerons were behaving erratically and therefore any command for the aircraft roll was kept to its minimum. Having gained some control of the situation, the crew flew East, searching for better weather conditions and started to follow the flight plan defined by the air traffic control for an emergency landing in a suitable airport, with good weather and physical conditions to deal with the sustaining aircraft control difficulties.
At this moment, when the pilots were able to keep altitude and heading, and had sufficient visual references, the aircraft was joined by a pair of F-16 fighters from the Portuguese Air Force that were scrambled from the Monte Real Air Base. They assisted in guiding to Beja Air Base, which had been selected in the meantime as the best emergency landing option.
After two non-stabilised approaches, the aircraft managed to land safely on runway 19L at the third approach. The intended runway was 19R, but due to drift, they finally managed to land on the left runway.
All on board were physically and emotionally shaken, one of the passengers sustaining a leg injury.
Still pending confirmation from the undertaking of additional testing, the evidence that the investigators were able collect, suggests the existence of failures in the aircraft roll controls configuration, consistent with possible disturbance during maintenance actions.

Weather reported at Alverca at 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00 UTC:
LPAR 111500Z 04005KT 3500 -RADZ SCT005 SCT010 BKN015 13/12 Q1010
LPAR 111400Z 35005KT 2000 -RA SCT005 SCT010 BKN015 13/13 Q1010
LPAR 111300Z 04005KT 3000 RA FEW005 SCT010 BKN015 14/13 Q1010

Weather reported at Beja at 14:00, 15:00 and 15:20 UTC:
LPBJ 111520Z 20017KT 9999 SCT030 BKN048 19/13 Q1010
LPBJ 111500Z 20019KT 9999 SCT030 BKN048 19/14 Q1010
LPBJ 111400Z 19017KT 9999 SCT030 BKN048 19/14 Q1011


Radio Traffic the last 18 minuters of the flight
Unofficial ATC transcript


Track as recorded by Flightradar24, based on multilateration (MLAT); FR24 states MLAT position accuracy is near that of ADS-B but cautions that speed data, expecially in turns is unreliable.

Revision history:

11-Nov-2018 15:27 harro Added
11-Nov-2018 15:38 harro Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
11-Nov-2018 15:47 harro Updated [Location, Photo]
11-Nov-2018 15:48 harro Updated [Photo]
11-Nov-2018 15:48 harro Updated [Time, Source]
11-Nov-2018 17:04 harro Updated [Narrative]
11-Nov-2018 17:11 harro Updated [Source, Narrative]
11-Nov-2018 19:04 harro Updated [Nature, Destination airport, Narrative]
11-Nov-2018 20:54 harro Updated [Narrative]
11-Nov-2018 21:07 harro Updated [Source]
12-Nov-2018 07:28 Swedflyer Updated [Source]
12-Nov-2018 17:55 harro Updated [Source, Embed code]
12-Nov-2018 18:28 harro Updated [Embed code, Narrative]
13-Nov-2018 12:11 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
14-Nov-2018 15:19 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
14-Nov-2018 15:22 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
14-Nov-2018 15:23 Aerossurance Updated [Narrative]
14-Nov-2018 19:41 harro Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Nov-2018 07:39 Anon. Updated [Narrative]

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