The Russian Sukhoi Superjet-100, on a demonstration flight with government officials and journalists on board, has gone missing over Indonesia and presumed crashed. It was a joint venture between Sukhoi and Boeing, partly funded by the Russian government.
Sukhoi had been testing the Superjet-100 since 2008 without many dramas. Predictions from the company were that at least 150 of them would be in the air by 2016. That forecast now, and extra development work, has come to an abrupt halt as authorities try to find out what has happened to the test plane.
The plane vanished from radar 12 minutes after taking off from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport near the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. The flight was supposed to last for just 50 minutes to demonstrate to those on board what the plane was capable of.
On the ground, no one has come forward as yet with any additional information other than seeing it flying overhead. Helicopters have been searching for the plane while officials cover the ground as well.
The pilot had just asked for clearance to descend from 3,000 metres before vanishing. It’s not the first time Indonesia has been in the middle of an aviation accident. In 2010 pieces of Qantas’ A380, the Nancy Bird-Walton, came showering down on the country after an engine exploded.