Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BREAKING: Superjet 100 missing in Jakarta

BREAKING: Superjet 100 missing in Jakarta:
Dolya Superjet crew.jpgSuperjet crew onboard demonstration flights in Jakarta/Sergey Dolya

Sukhoi confirms on spokeswoman Olga Kayukova's Facebook page that a Superjet 100 went missing 20min after take-off on second demonstration flight from Jakarta, Indonesia. More news coverage is available here.

The first demonstration flight from Halim Perdamakusama Airport earlier today was completed successfully. A Russian photographer, Marina Lystseva, posted photos on her blog of Sukhoi pilot Sergei Alexander Yablontsev giving instructions to another photographer before the first or second flight. Lystseva flew on board the first demonstration flight, but it wasn't clear from her postings if she was on the second. "It was already a demo flight," she wrote, as translated from Cyrillic by Google. "I also fly."  

The second flight apparently disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff at 14:35 local time. "We are carrying out search operations, [and have] set up operational headquarters," Sukhoi says, via Google translation.

Jakarta was the latest stop on a global demonstration tour of the 75- to 95-seat Superjet 100. At each stop, the company has invited local airlines, aviation journalists and government officials on board for a series of demonstration flights. This morning, the Superjet 100 was decorated in Sky Aviation interior colours on the first flight, with glasses of champagne offered by flight attendants to the 47 passengers aboard, according to Lystseva. Sky Aviation is an important Superjet customer, expecting the airframer to delivery 12 of the regional jets later this year.

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