MOUNT SALAK- A rescue team found no survivors but several bodies on Thursday when it arrived at the wreckage of a Russian plane that crashed into an Indonesian mountain during an exhibition flight with 45 people on board.
Russia's first all-new passenger jet since the fall of the Soviet Union, a Superjet 100 aircraft, went missing on Wednesday about 40 miles (64 km) south of Jakarta.
It was carrying Indonesians, including journalists and businessmen, eight Russians, including embassy officials, pilots and technicians, two Italians, one French citizen and one American, said Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk, the head of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft.
"We haven't found survivors," Gagah Prakoso, spokesman of the search and rescue team, told Indonesia's Metro TV.
Radio contact with the aircraft was lost at about 0800 GMT on Wednesday after it descended to 6,000 feet (1,800 metres) near Mount Salak, which rises to 7,254 feet (2,200 metres) above sea level, a rescue official said.
A search resumed at dawn on Thursday and a rescue helicopter later spotted debris on the side of the dormant Mount Salak volcano, sending multiple teams on a trek across steep and heavily forested terrain to reach the site.
A picture taken from the helicopter appeared to show that the plane hit the top of an almost vertical wall of rock. Small pieces of white debris could be seen scattered down an exposed stretch of cliff.
"The airplane crashed at the edge of Salak mountain ... An investigation must be done immediately and thoroughly," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told a news conference.
AIRCRAFT FOR EXPORT
Sukhoi's chief civil test pilot, Alexander Yablontsev, and his co-pilot, Alexander Kochetkov, flew the plane, Superjet International, the Italian-led venture responsible for marketing the plane to the West, said in a statement on its website.
Yablontsev had accumulated 10,000 flight hours and commanded the Superjet on its maiden flight in 2008.
The aircraft made two demonstration flights on Wednesday.
It returned to Halim Perdanakusuma airport, east of Jakarta, after the first flight where some people got off because it was the time for Muslim prayers and then got left behind, according to Sunaryo. Others who had not planned to fly got on board.
The crash came 45 years after a Dutch-built Fokker F-27 flew into a hill in the Philippines on a promotional sortie due to probable pilot error, said the Flight Safety Foundation.