Flightradar24 Blog

Flightradar24 data for Air Astana KC1388 E190 loss-of-control incident

Flightradar24 data for Air Astana KC1388 E190 loss-of-control incident

Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

On 11 November, Air Astana KC1388 an Embraer E190 (registration P4-KCJ), departed Alverca Airport following a heavy maintenance C-check at Oficinas Gerais de Material Aeronáutico. Shortly after departure the flight crew declared a Mayday stating they were dealing with a loss of control. After struggling with the aircraft for over 1 hour the crew was able to regain control and land at Beja Air Base on their third attempt.


Update: 31 May — Portuguese authorities publish preliminary report

Portuguese authorities published their preliminary report on the incident on 31 May, finding a reversal in the aileron cable assembly. You may read the full report here (PDF).

Air Astana KC1388
Visualization based on FDR data from the Air Astana E190 from the Portuguese report

Preliminary Serious Incident Notice from Portuguese authorities regarding KC1388

Portuguese authorities have released a preliminary serious incident notice detailing what is known so far. In the notice, authorities note that ‘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’. Also detailed are the pilots’ actions to eventually regain control of the aircraft and safely land.


 

The (incomplete) flight path of KC1388

Unfortunately, this aircraft is not equipped with ADS-B and was tracked using a different technology called Multilateration (MLAT). Flights tracked with MLAT do not broadcast their position like flights equipped with ADS-B, it must be calculated. MLAT tracking uses 4 or more Flightradar24 receivers to calculate an aircraft’s position, track, and speed. Using the time difference of arrival of the radio signals from the aircraft to different receivers, we are able to calculate the position of the aircraft. The change over time of that position allows us to further calculate the track and speed of the aircraft. Positional accuracy is near that of ADS-B, but speed calculations may suffer, especially when an aircraft is turning or circling.

Flightradar24 data available for download

3D display of the flight path available with the KML file

Download the KC1388 CSV File
Download the KC1388 KML file
Download Altitude Data for the final portion of the flight (does not include positions)

Flightradar24 and MLAT issues related to KC1388

What data is received from the aircraft?

The data received from the aircraft differs for flights tracked with ADS-B and via MLAT. We’ve included some of the common flight data parameters below and if they are received directly from the aircraft.

Data ParameterADS-BMLAT
CallsignYesWhen interrogated by ATC
PositionYesNo
AltitudeYesYes
TrackYesNo
SpeedYesNo
Vertical SpeedYesNo
SquawkYesYes

Why can’t I see the whole flight?

Calculating positions via MLAT requires 4 or more Flightradar24 receivers to process a signal from the aircraft. If fewer than four receivers fail to process a signal from the aircraft we are unable to calculate a position for the aircraft. Since signal reception from the aircraft is based on ‘line-of-sight’ to the receiver, lower altitude MLAT tracking is more difficult. We’re always looking for additional receiver hosts to help with us increased flight tracking.

Why are the lines not smooth?

The lines on Flightradar24 represent a direct connection between two consecutive received (ADS-B) or calculated (MLAT) positions and may not indicated the actual path flown by the aircraft. Because it takes 4 receivers to calculate a position for a flight, there may be gaps in the position coverage, which when connected by flight path lines makes the path appear ‘jagged’.

Why does it say the flight departed Lisbon (LIS)?

Route information information is not broadcast by the aircraft. For scheduled commercial flights, we match the call sign broadcast by the aircraft to a flight number and route. For non-scheduled flights or for flights that do not broadcast a calls sign, our systems makes a best guess for the departure airport, including location, heading, and previous history. Our system also prioritizes commercial airports as origins and destinations when making determinations. For aircraft that we are not able to track on the ground, this can result in errors where there are multiple nearby airports, such as with Air Astana departing from Alverca Airport.

Even if it isn’t possible to calculate a position, is data still received?

The aircraft is always sending data via its transponder, so even when it is not possible to calculate a position via MLAT, we record the data we do receive. In the case of KC1388, we received altitude reports from the flight through about 700 feet on approach to Beja Air Base, capturing altitude data for the 3 approaches made by the aircraft. This data is available for download above.

Video of KC1388 landing at Beja

Get the latest aviation news delivered to you

Get the latest aviation news delivered to you

Flight tracking and aviation industry news direct to your inbox

Aviation news comes quickly, so join more than 600,000 others who receive weekly aviation industry and flight tracking news from Flightradar24 direct to their inbox.

Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Useful flight tracking glossary

View our glossary of terms which you may encounter either on our site or in aviation in general that we hope enriches your flight tracking experience.

About Flightradar24

Flightradar24 is a global flight tracking service that provides you with real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world.
Latest video
Get weekly updates on Flightradar24 and have the latest aviation news land in your inbox.

How flight tracking works

Flightradar24 combines data from several data sources including ADS-B, MLAT and radar data.
Search the blog
Trending articles
Follow us
Latest AvTalk Podcasts

Video: Testing out the Etihad 787-10 Business Studio (plus a bonus look at economy)

In this video we take a ride on Etihad’s lovely 787-10 from Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi on EY78. Along the way we can’t figure out how to get our connecting boarding pass at Schiphol Airport; we have a chat with the Captain before departure; we get some beautiful views of Holland on the climb out; we test out the Etihad Business Studio seat, service, food and entertainment options; and we enjoy a scenic sunset descent over Iran and the Gulf.

Related news

A tribute to the Antonov AN-225

New photos from Hostomel Airport outside Kyiv confirm that the Antonov AN-225 ‘Mriya’ (Dream) has been destroyed, likely beyond repair. Here’s a look back at

Help to grow our flight tracking coverage

We are continually looking to improve our flight tracking and the airports below are where new receivers will add the most coverage. Apply for a receiver today and if accepted you’ll receiver a free Flightradar24 Business Subscription.

Free ADS-B Receiver
Most wanted global airports
Try the full Flightradar24 experience free for 7 days
Remove ads and unlock over 50 additional features

Get the Flightradar24 Aviation newsletter

Flight tracking and aviation industry news direct to your inbox

Aviation news comes quickly, so we want to bring more of the aviation world to you with our weekly Flightradar24 aviation newsletter - On The Radar.