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Sukhoi Superjet crash findings to be out in October

Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) expects to release in October its investigation report detailing findings of the crash involving a prototype Sukhoi Superjet 100.

The committee is synchronising and analysing information from the aircraft's flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders and expects to meet with its Russian counterpart next month to discuss the findings, chief investigator Mardjono Siswosuwarno tells Flightglobal.

"Depending on our discussions with the Russians, it will determine when we finish. But hopefully we'll be able to publish the report end October," he adds.

Indonesia's Kartika Airlines, which has signed up for 30 Superjets, says there are no intentions to ditch the order, and that it is awaiting the NTSC's findings to ensure the aircraft is safe before it starts taking delivery.

The carrier's plans to relaunch operations, however, is in limbo as it awaits the NTSC's report. Without any aircraft in its fleet, the carrier is unable to complete its air operator's certificate application, says commercial director Aditya Wardhana.

Kartika was originally scheduled to receive its first Superjet in December, with deliveries to follow through to 2015. It plans to use the aircraft to connect cities in East Indonesia.

Sources familiar with the situation have indicated that early conclusions suggest no problems with the crashed aircraft's engine and airframe.

"If the transport ministry says the aircraft is safe, we plan to operate 10 Superjets by next year. Right now, we cannot start operations because of the uncertainty in the situation," says Wardhana.

The carrier's contigency plan is to launch operations with a fleet of at least five ATR 42 and 72 turboprops. No decision has been made on whether the turboprops will be leased or bought.

While Indonesia's Sky Aviation, which has 12 Superjets on order, has not signalled any intentions to back out, cash-strapped Merpati Nusantara Airlines has said that it could cancel plans for 10 Superjets.

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