(JAKARTA, Indonesia) — Russia’s struggling aviation industry was delivered a severe setback on Wednesday when its new Sukhoi Superjet-100 disappeared on a test flight over the mountains in western Indonesia.
Wreckage of the plane was found Thursday morning on the side of a volcano south of the capital, Jakarta. Presumably, all 48 passengers on board, that included potential buyers, diplomats, business people and journalists, were killed.
The Superjet is supposed to take the place of the aging fleet of Russian commercial aircraft made before the fall of the Soviet Union.
According to witnesses, the plane was making its second flight of the day when it vanished from the radar about 20 minutes after taking off from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport.
Prior to the apparent accident, the Russians had hoped the Superjet would sell well in international markets with an affordable price tag of $35 million.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN