Russia’s latest civil airliner carrying 44 passengers has disappeared from the radars during a demonstrative flight in the Indonesian capital. Hijacking and a high-altitude crash into a mountain have not been ruled out.
The aircraft did not return to the airport at the scheduled time following takeoff. By that time, the fuel should have been totally spent.
Shortly before going off the radar, the crew of the aircraft had asked for permission to descend, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency quotes an Indonesian aviation official as saying.
It got permission to descend from an altitude of 10,000 feet down to 6,000, moving downwards in a rightward direction. According to the official, there is a 6,200 foot-high mountain in the area where the plane went missing.
However, Indonesian aviation authorities haven’t ruled out that the aircraft was hijacked.
There were 44 people onboard, including 8 Russians and 36 citizens from other countries – mostly representatives from major airline companies.
The aircraft was operated by a Russian crew.
Recent messages on Twitter posted by blogger and traveler Sergey Dolya give the names of the crew members. The plane was operated by senior test-pilot Aleksandr Yablontsev and co-pilot Aleksandr Kochetkov.
RIA Novosti also released the names of six other Russian nationals. Aero navigator Oleg Shvetsov, flight engineer Aleksey Kirkin, leading test flight engineer Dennis Rakhmanov, test flight deputy head Nikolay Martyshenko, “Sukhoi” company Sales Director Evgeny Grebenshchikov, and contract manager Kristina Kurzhukova were all reportedly on board.
The latest reports suggest none of those onboard can be reached by telephone.
The Russian aircraft arrived in Indonesia on May 9 – the fourth stop on its Asian demonstrative tour, which includes six countries in total. The plane had previously visited Myanmar, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. After Jakarta it was supposed to go to two more Asian countries – Laos and Vietnam.
The aircraft has already made two half-hour long demonstrative flights in Jakarta. The first time it took to the skies, flight attendants from the Sky Aviation airliner, representatives from “VEB-Leasing” company, and others from a Russian insurance agency were on board. During its second flight, the aircraft took the potential buyers– representatives from Indonesia’s Batavia, Pelita, Air Aviastar, and Sriwijaya Air.
We will bring you more details as soon as the information comes in.
Modificata da Hicks, 09 maggio 2012 - 12:23.