iOS app Android app More

Indonesia Jet Crash: Teams Scour Ravine For Plane's Black Box

By NINIEK KARMINI 05/13/12 11:45 PM ET AP

Indonesia Plane Crash
An Indonesian helicopter carrying the bodies of victims of Wednesday's plane crash flies through Bogor, in West Java, Indonesia. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian special forces traversed the sheer slope of a volcano Monday after spotting what they believe is the flight recorder of a new Russian-made passenger jet that crashed during a demonstration flight for potential buyers.

It's not clear what caused the Sukhoi Superjet-100 to roar into Mount Salak at 480 mph (800 kph) last week. All 45 people aboard are presumed dead, and helicopters have been ferrying the remains to Jakarta, the capital, for identification.

Search teams believe they spotted the flight and data recorder, also known as the "black box," peeking from wreckage at the bottom of a 1,500 -foot (500) -meter ravine, said Tatang Kurniadi, who heads the National Transportation Safety Commission.

"We are really hoping they'll reach it sometime today," he said.

The Sukhoi Superjet-100 is Russia's first new model of passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago, and its six-nation Asian tour was aimed at luring new customers.

The plane was making its second demonstration flight of the day Wednesday when the crew asked for permission to drop from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet (3,000 meters to 1,800 meters) just 12 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta. It wasn't clear why they asked, and the plane disappeared from the radar immediately afterward.

Related on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Rescue team carry boxes from a helicopter at Pasir Pogor in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, May 11, 2012. Rescue teams used climbing gear to scale the nearly sheer slopes of a dormant Indonesian volcano, hoping Friday to reach the wreckage of a Russian-made jetliner Sukhoi Superjet-100 that crashed with 45 people onboard during a display flight for potential buyers. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • The logo of Sukhoi Co. is clearly visible, center, bottom, among the wreckage of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 scattered on the mountainside in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, May 11, 2012. The crash of the new, Russian-made jetliner into a jagged Indonesian volcano during a flight to impress potential buyers has thrown doubt on dozens of plane sales just as Moscow seeks a comeback in foreign markets. All 45 people aboard were feared dead. (AP Photo)

  • Relatives of the passengers of the crashed Sukhoi Superjet-100 watch the news on a television at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, May 11, 2012. Search teams found at least 12 bodies Friday on the steep slope of an Indonesian volcano where the Russian-made jetliner crashed while demonstrating the plane for potential buyers from airlines, an official said. All 45 aboard the plane are feared dead. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

  • Indonesian police officers walks to the location of a plane crash in Salak mountain in Cijeruk, Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, May 11, 2012. Rescue teams used climbing gear to scale the nearly sheer slopes of a dormant Indonesian volcano, hoping Friday to reach the wreckage of a Russian-made jetliner that crashed with 45 people aboard during a demonstration flight for potential buyers. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • The wreckage of a Sukhoi Superjet-100 is scattered on the mountainside in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, Friday, May 11, 2012. (AP Photo)

  • Relatives of the passengers of the crashed Sukhoi Superjet-100 watch the news on a television at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, May 11, 2012. Search teams found at least 12 bodies Friday on the steep slope of an Indonesian volcano where the Russian-made jetliner crashed while demonstrating the plane for potential buyers from airlines, an official said. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)


FOLLOW WORLDPOST

Filed by Ryan Craggs  |