Sukhoi crash probe gets army support in hunt for data recorder

23-May-2012 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 7:01 AM Print This Post

Indonesian salvage crews sifting through the wreckage of the Russian Sukhoi SuperJet in the thicket of West Java have enlisted the help of the army and special forces as the hunt continues for the data recorder.

The country had dispatched 600 search and rescue experts to the site following the crash on May 9 that killed all 45 people on board, and the effort is now being handed off to military forces trained in salvaging equipment. Russian support personnel deployed to Indonesia have started winding down their effort, according to the Russian Emergency Ministry.

Search crews are focused on finding the container housing the data recorder that stores systems and engine performance to help determine the cause of the crash. The Sukhoi jet was on a promotional trip through Asia, and the aircraft that crashed had been switched halfway through the tour after an issue on an engine component on a flight from Kazakhstan to Pakistan.

“We haven’t stopped the search,” said Gagah Prakosa, a spokesman at Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency.

Rescue team members carry the dead body of a passenger from the Sukhoi Superjet crash from a valley at the peak of Mount Salak, near Sukabumi, May 13, 2012. Salvage teams have descended into a ravine to search for the flight recorders from the Russian Sukhoi Superjet that crashed in Indonesia. The devices could prove crucial in ascertaining what caused the accident that killed 45 people. Indonesian civil aviation official Herry Bakti Gumay said that professional climbers and officials are continuing the search where the jet's scattered wreckage was discovered on Mount Salek, 50km (31 miles) from Jakarta. (Reuters)

Olga Kayukova, a spokeswoman for Sukhoi parent company United Aircraft Corp., said she had no immediate information on how long it would take to analyse the contents of the cockpit voice recorder. The voice recorder captures sounds including conversations and alarms heard in the pilot cabin

The plane, which seats five abreast, uses engines built by PowerJet, a venture between Snecma, a unit of Safran SA (SAF), and NPO Saturn. The aircraft had been on its second flight of the day, carrying prospective customers and local journalists, when it disappeared from radar screens shortly into its voyage. -By Andrea Rothman and Anna Shiryaevskaya


Category: Indonesia

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