An Air Astana Embraer 190 made an emergency landing at a military airbase in after a C-check, the airline said. The aircraft spiraled out of control and the crew stated to ATC that “the aircraft had become ‘completely uncontrollable’ and asked for assistance” according to reports.
ATC tapes confirm the pilot declared a Mayday before contemplating ditching the aircraft into the sea. At one point the pilot told the controllers they were heading to the sea. “We need a ditching,” the reports say. Flight trackers show the erratic altitude fluctuations and route. The crew managed to land the aircraft at Beja Airport, 90 miles from Lisbon. Two Portuguese F16s were scrambled to accompany the plane.
The aircraft was airborne around an hour and half. Two of the six crew on board were injured and taken to hospital. It is reported it took three attempts to successfully land the plane.