Sukhoi Superjet reported missing on demo flight

A Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft on a demonstration flight with 46 passengers aboard has been reported as missing around Mount Salak in Bogor, West Java, according to search and rescue officials.

The PowerJet SaM146-powered twinjet is believed to have taken off from East Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in East Jakarta at 2.20 p.m. It was expected to return in less than an hour, but lost contact at around 3.30 p.m.

The Sukhoi-manufactured aircraft was reported to have been flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet when suddenly it dropped to the altitude of 6,000 feet. The aircraft was on the second of two demonstration flights.

Flightglobal reports that Sukhoi had stated that its prototype airframe 95005 was due to demonstrate in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on 9 May as part of an Asian tour – although ventures that in actual fact the prototype 95004 was being flown. A map purporting to show the flight trajectory of missing aircraft has been posted on a social media site.

Russian News Agency Ria Novosti reports that shortly before radio contact was lost, 20 minutes after takeoff, the pilots had requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet, air traffic controllers said. After it was cleared for descent the aircraft started turning right and descending but then disappeared from the radar screens at an altitude of 6,200 feet in a mountainous area 60 kilometres from Jakarta. The spokesman said that the aircraft disappeared in the area of Mount Salak, which is 7,254 feet high.

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