The search is on for a Sukhoi SuperJet 100 that went missing on Wednesday during a demonstration flight in Indonesia.
The fly-by-wire regional jet, with 50 people on board, was conducting its second demonstration flight of the day when radio contact was lost approximately 20 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma Airport. The airplane had requested permission to descend to 6,000 feet in the mountainous region of West Java around 2.30 p.m. when contact was lost.
Authorities launched search and rescue teams to the area just south of the capital, but two helicopters were reportedly unable to access the region due to poor weather.
Passengers on the flight included Russian Embassy officials, journalists and potential buyers of the Sukhoi SuperJet, the first new Russian airliner developed in decades.
The airplane – powered by dual PowerJet SaM146 engines delivering 17,000 pounds of thrust per side – is intended to compete with Bombardier and Embraer models in the 75- to 95-seat class. It made its first flight in 2008 and has since garnered a handful of customers, including Aeroflot and Armavia. The airplane entered service in April 2011.
UPDATE: The wreckage of the missing SuperJet 100 was found Thursday morning. Read more here.