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A Russian Sukhoi SuperJet-100 disappeared during a demonstration flight in Indonesia today, vanishing from radar screens while it was still at high altitudes and failing to land at its appointed time.
Indonesian officials say it may have crashed—there's a 6,200-foot-tall mountain in the area—or it may have been hijacked.
The plane must have come down somewhere, because by its scheduled landing time, its fuel supply should have been exhausted. There were 44 people onboard, most of them reps from major airline companies, and so far none of them can be reached by phone.
Russia’s latest civil airliner carrying 50 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.
The latest reports suggest the mobile phones of at least two passengers are working, though nobody has picked up.
“A call waiting tone can be heard, but nobody is answering,” the director of Angkasa Aviation magazine says, as cited by Detik.com.
The plane flew round the mountain and then sharply changed course and started descending near the point marked with black arrows.
“The authorities are searching for the plane. A helicopter has just returned but says there is no trace of it. Rescuers are looking at the maps trying to determine where it could be,” Sergey Dolya who was on a previous flight on the very same aircraft, told RT.
In the morning five helicopters are expected to join the rescue operation.