MOSCOW, May 9 (Itar-Tass) — Bad weather hampers the search for Russia’s plane Sukhoi Superjet 100 that disappeared from radars during its demonstration flight in Jakarta, Indonesia, local media reported with reference to the Indonesian air traffic control authorities.
“The search operation is aggravated by falling darkness and heavy rain,” the authorities said in a statement. Several motor vehicles were sent to search for the missing plane, while a helicopter will not fly over the bad weather.
“We continue the search operation and are not sure that the plane crashed,” a spokesman for the air traffic control authorities said.
“Communication with the Sukhoi Superjet 100 was lost in twenty minutes after the plane’s takeoff from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport at 14:35 local time (11:35 Moscow time),” a source in the Russian United Aircraft Building Corporation told Itar-Tass. “The plane was making its second demonstration flight within the framework of the demonstration flight program in Indonesia.”
A crisis centre, which engages officials of the Russian embassy in Indonesia and of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, was created in Indonesia.
According to Itar-Tass, the plane was flown by chief pilot Alexander Yablontsev, second pilot Alexander Kochetkov and air navigator Oleg Shvetsov. Moreover, there were pilot engineer Alexei Kirkin and senior engineer for flight tests Denis Rakhimov, three officials from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft – Nikolai Martyshchenko, Yevgeny Grebenshchikov and Kristina Kurzhukova.
Moreover, there were 36 foreign passengers onboard. Some media sources report about 47 passengers onboard.
The plane started its roadshow “Welcome Asia!” in the countries of Central and Southeast Asia. It has already made demonstration flights in Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Myanmar. It also should fly Laos and Vietnam.