FDR from Destroyed Superjet Found

 - May 31, 2012, 10:03 AM
The investigation into the May 9 crash of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 got a major boost from recovery of the airplane's FDR.

Search crews Wednesday evening found the flight data recorder from the Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 that crashed on May 9 into a cliff near Indonesia’s Mount Salak, some 60 miles south of Jakarta. All forty-five occupants died in the crash.

An Indonesian recovery team found the FDR from SSJ100 S/N 95004 about a kilometer (0.62 miles) from the site of the collision. Indonesia’s Investigation Commission of the National Committee for Transport Safety (KNKT) took possession of the device Thursday morning and has begun its inspection in the presence of officials from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC). According to a statement issued by Sukhoi, the FDR withstood the impact “essentially” undamaged.

“We thank our Indonesian colleagues for carrying out search works in difficult conditions on site,” said SCAC president Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk. “The rescue of the FDR will allow the definition of a clear picture of the event and will expedite the investigation.”

Crews found the airplane’s cockpit voice recorder soon after finding the wreckage of the regional jet on May 10.

The airplane had departed Jakarta’s Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport a day earlier, at 2 p.m. local time, on a demonstration flight for Asian airline executives and local reporters. A crewmember and passenger list released by Sukhoi confirmed the airplane carried 45 people, including SSJ100 chief pilot Alexander Yablontsev and copilot Alexander Kocketkov.

Some 20 minutes into the planned 50-minute flight, the crew asked ATC for permission to descend to 6,000 feet from 10,000 feet. Soon afterward controllers lost radio contact.

The aircraft’s arrival in Indonesia marked the fourth stop in a six-country Asian demonstration tour.

MSN 95004 flew for the first time on July 25, 2009, and had accumulated more than 800 flight hours during 500 flights. According to Sukhoi, it never experienced a “serious” technical problem.