Indonesian officials have temporarily halted the search for wreckage of a Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Corp. due to poor weather and darkness.
Contact with the regional jet was lost a few minutes after the aircraft departed Halim Pedanakusumah Airport in Jakarta. The aircraft had made a previous tour and departed Halim for another demonstration flight at 2:20 p.m., local official say. Last contact with the aircraft was around 2:33 p.m. with the aircraft descending from 10,000 ft. to 6,000 ft., says the Indonesian search and rescue agency. The crash site is believed to be in the vicinity of Mount Salak, with the agency giving the last known coordinates as 106 43’ 15” East and 06 43’ 08” South.
Officials also say 42 passengers and eight crew were on board the aircraft, an increase on initial estimates.
The SSJ100 was on an Asian tour intended to increase interest in the regional jet. Several Asian airlines have already committed to the program, including Indonesia’s Kartika Airlines, which had two employees on the flight.
This aircraft involved is SN95004, which replaced SN95005 which began the tour. Prior to its arrival in Indonesia, the tour included stops in Burma, Pakistan and Kazakhstan, and the aircraft was due to head to Laos and Vietnam. At the outset of the tour, Sukhoi said chief test pilot Alexander Yablontsev and his co-pilot Alexander Kochetkov would be in charge.
The incident comes as Sukhoi was looking to move the program to a new level, with production scheduled to increase after several years of below-planned output. Moreover, the aircraft maker recently received the Mexican certification for the regional jet to allow Interjet, its first western operator, to start use of the aircraft this year.
and Armavia are the only carriers to operate the Superjet 100. The total in-service fleet has now reached seven aircraft.