Russian Jetliner Goes Missing Near Indonesian Capital

Posted May 9th, 2012 at 8:20 am (UTC-5)
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Authorities say a Russian jetliner with at least 44 people on board has gone missing near the Indonesian capital.

Search and rescue officials say the Sukhoi Superjet 100 disappeared from radar south of Jakarta while on a demonstration flight Wednesday afternoon.

The French news agency quotes an Indonesian transport ministry spokesman (Bambang Ervan) as saying the 100-seat, mid-range jetliner was on the second of two demonstration flights when it disappeared in a mountainous region just south of capital. All passengers were described as invited guests.

Another official is quoted as saying contact with the plane was lost after it abruptly dropped from 3,000 to 1,800 meters.

Russia's Itar-Tass news agency said the newly-minted plane recently performed demonstrations in Central and South Asia, including flights in Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Burma. It also said the Superjet 100 had logged about 6,500 hours of flight time since its 2008 maiden launch.

The jetliner is currently in use with Russia's largest carrier, Aeroflot, and the Armenian carrier, Armavia.