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No tech problems reported before jet crash

May 12, 2012 at 2:11 PM

JAKARTA, May 12 (UPI) -- A Russian jet that crashed into a steep mountainside in Indonesia, killing 45 people, had no technical problems before the flight, an airline official said.

United Aircraft Corp. head Mikhail Pogosyan also said it would be premature to say pilot error caused the crash, RIA Novosti reported.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 disappeared from radar Wednesday, and the wreckage was found along the side of Mount Salak, a volcano south of Jakarta.

The plane, Russia's first new commercial plane since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago, had been on a demonstration flight for potential customers. Pogosyan said the plane was on its second flight of the day when it crashed.

Most of those aboard were representatives of Indonesian airlines.

Pogosyan said the search for the aircraft's two black boxes would begin after all the bodies were evacuated from the scene, which he said should be completed within 24 hours.

"Both the Russian and the Indonesian sides are interested in the earliest, as well as most objective investigation of the tragedy," Pogosyan said.

If the black boxes cannot be found quickly in the remote area where the plane crashed in rugged terrain, Pogosyan said "we will use other sources of objective information."

The Jakarta Post reported relatives of those killed gathered at a hospital in Jakarta Saturday to observe identification of the victims' bodies.

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