Debris from the Russian "demonstration" plane that disappeared over Indonesia yesterday has been found on the side of a mountain, where it apparently crashed in heavy fog. The plane disappeared from radar shortly after takeoff from Jakarta and after descending to 6,000 feet above the steep mountains in West Java, where the terrain and jungle-like tree cover will make rescue and recovery efforts difficult. The Sukhoi Superjet 100 was carrying at least 45 people, including journalists and airline executives, all of whom appear to be lost. Some bodies have been found, but there is little hope after one rescuer described the incident as: "A high speed jet plane hit the cliff, exploded and tore apart."
The demonstration flight was part of a tour organized by the manufacturer that show off the inexpensive "short hop" jet to potential customers in the airline industry. The crash is a huge blow not just to the company, but the entire airline industry in Russia, which has been beset by numerous crashes, other safety problems, and declining business.