A Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 with about 50 people on board went missing in a mountainous area south of the Indonesian capital Jakarta during a demonstration flight yesterday, officials said.
The Sukhoi Superjet dropped off the radar after takeoff from Jakarta after its crew signaled a drop in altitude from 3000 meters to 1800 meters.
"We suspect the plane crashed, but we're not yet certain," rescue chief Marsdya Daryatmo told reporters several hours after the disappearance
“I saw a big plane passing just over my house,” Juanda, a villager who lives near the two-kilometre high mountain, told local station TVOne.
“It was veering a bit to one side, the engine roaring,” she said. “It seemed to be heading toward Salak, but I didn’t hear an explosion or anything.”
Russian blogger Sergey Dolya, who with the Sukhoi delegationhas been filing updates on Twitter, from the emergency operation centre in Jakarta.
Tweeting after midnight (local time), Dolya added: "We keep phoning our guys. Sometimes calls go through, sometimes they break off. But nobody picks up. The locals are unable to determine the location."
This was on the fourth stop of a six-nation “Welcome Asia!” road show after having already been to Burma, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. It was supposed to head next to Laos and Vietnam.