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Sukhoi Superjet reported missing on demo flight in Indonesia

Posted 9 May 2012 · Add Comment

It has been reported that a Russion Sukhoi Superjet passenger plane, carrying at least 44 people on board, has gone missing on a demonstration flight in Indonesia.

The 30-minute demo flight took off from east Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma airport, which is used for some commercial and military flights, at 2 pm local time (0700 GMT).  The plane reportedly disappeared from radar screens after requesting permission to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet, air traffic controllers said. It was said to be flying in a mountainous area.

"The plane disappeared from the radar around the Bogor area. We are still looking for it and we are uncertain whether it crashed," Gagah Prakoso, spokesman of national search and rescue agency, was reported as saying by AFP news agency.

The Sukhoi Superjet-100 airplane was in Jakarta as part of a demonstration tour of six Asian countries. It had been to Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and was due to visit Laos and Vietnam after Indonesia, Indonesian news service RIA Novosti said.  Herry Bakti, head of the transport ministry's aviation division, told AFP that the aircraft was on the second of two demonstration flights, and those on board were invited guests.

AFP has reported that a passenger list of 36 names posted at Halim airport showed that most of the people on board were Indonesian airline and aviation representatives, as well as five journalists and a representative of French aircraft engine maker SNECMA.

Helicopter searches have currently been suspended due to darkness and bad weather, but the search continues on the ground for the missing aircraft.

More details to follow.

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