Indonesia team finds crashed Sukhoi's black box

A search team in Indonesia found Tuesday the black box of a Russian jet that could explain how a veteran pilot crashed the new plane into a dormant volcano last week, killing all 45 aboard.

"We found the black box at around 10 this morning (0300 GMT)," Ketut Parwa, head of the search operation, told reporters late Tuesday near the crash site at Mount Salak in western Java.

"It was found around 100 metres (328 feet) from where we located the tail."

The team of Indonesian searchers and Russian experts had combed the densely forested mountain for days looking for the black box as questions mounted about whether technical failure or human error caused the Sukhoi jet to crash.

The plane lost radio contact and disappeared from radar screens last Wednesday shortly after taking off from Jakarta on what was supposed to be a 40-minute exhibition flight to showcase the Sukhoi Superjet 100.

Analysts have said the mountainous terrain in western Java was difficult even for the most experienced pilots if they were unfamiliar with the area.

The black box, coloured bright orange for visibility, appeared charred in the crash and will be handed over to the National Committee for Transportation Safety, which is leading the investigation with the help of more than 70 Russian experts.

Officials did not say whether the black box was damaged or if that would hinder the probe.

The twin-engine jet is Russia's first post-Soviet civilian aircraft and was to be the new mascot for the nation's aviation industry, tarnished by ageing planes that even the country's own airline Aeroflot no longer uses.

The aircraft is a joint venture between Sukhoi and Italy's Alenia Aeronautica, which made its first commercial flight last year.

Questions are swirling over why the plane crashed with an experienced pilot at the helm.

A Russian fact-finding committee has said there were indications that safety standards were violated.

Key to the mystery is why the pilot requested permission to descend from 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) to 6,000 feet before the plane disappeared from radar screens and slammed into Mount Salak, which rises to 7,200 feet.

The transport ministry confirmed last week that a control tower in Jakarta gave the pilot permission to descend as the plane approached a military base, where mountains reach around 3,000 feet.

Photos of the plane's earlier demonstration flight posted online by a Russian blogger show relaxed passengers smiling on board, being treated to champagne, as well as Russian and Indonesian crew posing outside the jet.

A French and US national were also on board the flight.

Rescuers said dismembered bodies of the 45 crash victims were strewn across a section of the mountain, with some falling into a deep ravine.

Victims' remains were flown to Jakarta in body bags for DNA identification, although the search mission was still being carried out.

"The operation on the ground is still ongoing. We have a few more body bags that need to be flown to Jakarta," said the search mission's Colonel Anton Mukti Putranto.

Russian officials said that a full investigation into the cause of the crash could take up to a year.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippines accuses China of turning water cannon on its fishing boats

    Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino and American Marines landed on a beach in a mock assault. The presidential palace in Manila said China's coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. …

  • U.S. says if China used water cannons on Philippine boats, would be provocative'

    The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that if reports that China used water cannon son Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters are accurate, it would be a provocative step. Filipino activists have accused China's coast guard of turning water cannons on civilian boats in the disputed area on Monday. …

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’
    ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’

    The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong believes that the “racist” statement of legislator Regina Ip against Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong is not reflective of the general sentiments of the Hong Kong community. Hong Kong is home to more than 173,00 Filipinos working mostly as household service workers. “They have left their loved ones back home to earn a decent living taking care of Hong Kong families. This, in turn, has engendered positive impact on both the quality of life …

  • SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low
    SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low

    “The Aquino administration is firmly determined to carry on and complete priority programs in all five pillars of the Philippine development plan, to ensure that reforms will be sustained by strengthened public institutions, to tread the righteous path and ensure that good governance becomes the norm at all levels of government, and to sustain and make permanent the gains from the transformation of mindsets and institutions,” Coloma added. Lawmakers expressed belief yesterday that the Aquino …

  • ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation
    ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation

    Manny Pacquiao’s face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses, and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero’s “fight of the century” nears. Pacmania is sweeping the nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. …

  • House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP
    House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP

    The House ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will put police forces in the envisioned new autonomous Muslim region under the Philippine National Police (PNP), and not under the regional chief minister. “We will delete the provision in the draft BBL giving the chief minister operational, administrative and disciplinary control over police forces in the region,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, committee chairman, said in a television interview. He said under …

  • Phl to seek more US military aid
    Phl to seek more US military aid

    The Philippines said yesterday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defenses, as it faces Chinese “aggressiveness” in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said he was drafting a “wish list” for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for “equipment and training” when …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options