Atlanta, GA 5/10/2012 2:01:09 AM
News / World

Russian Plane Disappears During Demonstration Flight

A new Russian passenger jet disappeared in Indonesia Wednesday during its second demonstration flight and is believed to have crashed on Mount Salak, a volcano south of Jakarta. Local authorities say the Sukhoi Superjet 100 took off from the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarat with 42 passengers on board. It disappeared from radar screens as it traveled near Bogor in West Java province about 21 minutes into the flight.

Marsda Daryatmo, the head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, said two helicopters were sent to the air as soon as the plane lost control with air traffic controllers. Darkness and strong winds forced the helicopters to abandon the aerial search, but teams on the ground continued searching Mount Salak.

"We suspect the plane crashed, but we're not yet certain," Daryatmo told reporters, adding that about 200 people were part of the ground search.

Authorities say the majority of the passengers are Indonesians. At least eight Russians, two Italians, one American and one French citizen are also thought to be on board.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100’s demonstration flights in Indonesia were part of an Asian tour. The aircraft demonstrated in Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan before Indonesia. It was set to wrap up the tour in Laos and Vietnam. Sukhoi is a Russian company that is known for manufacturing military aircraft. The Superjet 100 is the company’s first commercial aircraft.


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