National

Sukhoi Superjet missing
over Mt. Salak

Sukhoi Superjet 100 (AP)
Sukhoi Superjet 100 (AP)

Indonesian authorities are still working as of Wednesday evening to locate a Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner, which lost contact with Halim Pedanakusumah Airport somewhere above Mt. Salak in Bogor, West Java.

The Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency chief, Vice Marshal Daryatmo told The Jakarta Post that his agency’s two helicopters, an NBO-105 and an NAS-332 Super Puma, had tried to locate the missing aircraft but had to return to Halim due to bad weather.

“Now we are mobilizing ground teams in coordination with the local police and military units to find the aircraft’s whereabouts,” he said over the phone.

He said the last contact was made at about 2:33 p.m. Jakarta time (GMT +7) and it was reported that there was bad weather above Mt. Salak, the last known location of the aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy’s press attaché, Dmitri Solodov told the Post that the aircraft was on its second demo flight when its signal was lost from the radar.

He said that there were 46 people onboard the airliner including eight Russians. The passengers are believed to be members of the media.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the pilots had requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) to 6,000 feet quoting air traffic controllers.

“After it was cleared for descent the plane started turning right and descending but then disappeared from the radar screens at an altitude of 6,200 feet in a mountainous area, about 40 nautical miles from Jakarta airport,” the news agency said.

“By the time the plane was due to return it should have burned up its fuel.”

From Bandung it was reported that the International Airport had not received any contact from the airplane.

“The radio distance is too far from Bandung,” the airport’s operational manager Sutrisno told the Post.

He said the aircraft took off from Halim at about 2:21 p.m. and did not make radio contact with Husein Sastranegara’s tower.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a sub-100 seater regional airliner developed by Sukhoi with Western partners including Italian airframe maker Alenia Aeronautica and French engine maker Snecma.

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