Search for missing Sukhoi Superjet continues

Singapore
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The search for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft that went missing in a demonstration flight in Indonesia on 9 May continues.

At least eight helicopters have been deployed towards Mount Salak, where contact with the aircraft was lost almost 20 hours ago, says an official from Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas). More rescuers are also joining in the search on land.

"So far we have not found the plane, so we still can't confirm if the plane has crashed," he adds.

Social media reports from Indonesia however, are saying that the aircraft has been found, though details are very sketchy.

Search efforts were hampered on 9 May as two helicopters deployed to search for the missing aircraft had to turn back because of bad weather.

Alenia and Sukhoi joint venture Superjet International has since confirmed that the missing aircraft had completed a full pre-flight check before take-off from Jakarta's Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport and no technical problems were reported.

The aircraft, serial number 95004 and tail number 97004, had completed 500 flights, accumulating more than 800 flight hours.

The aircraft was on its second demonstration flight of the day and had departed from the airport at 14:35 local time before radar contact was lost 20 minutes into the flight near the town of Bogor.

Local reports say the pilot had requested to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet despite the mountainous terrain. Contact was lost shortly thereafter.

The aircraft had 44 people onboard, including eight Russians, airline officials and journalists.

A team from Sukhoi, including its chief executive Mikhail Pogosyan, is expected to arrive in Jakarta today to "assist and support local authorities".