The first Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Corp. regional jet is believed to have crashed in Indonesia during a demonstration program.
Local authorities report that contact with the aircraft was lost as the aircraft was returning to Jakarta. Russian news agency RIA Novesti reports that contact with the aircraft was lost about 40 nm from the Jakarta airport and indicates that authorities have not ruled out a hijacking of the aircraft.
Reports say 44 or 46 individuals were onboard. Search-and-rescue operations have commenced.
The regional jet, SN95005, was on an Asian tour to help drum up sales interest.
The incident comes as Sukhoi was looking to move the program to a new level, with production slated to ramp up after several years at a lower rate than planned. Moreover, the aircraft maker recently received Mexican certification for the regional jet to allow Interjet, its first Western operator, to begin flying the SSJ this year.