The Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 plane that crashed during a demonstration flight in Indonesia in May was equipped with only one emergency beacon instead of the two stipulated by international passenger flight rules, the head of a Russian state-run telecommunications company said on Monday.
“In line with international regulations for passenger planes, they must have two Cospas-Sarsat emergency beacons,” Andrei Kuropyatnikov, the director general of the Morsvyazsputnik firm, said, referring to an international, satellite-based distress alerting system that monitors emergency transmissions around the world.
But the crashed Superjet 100 was a test model, which is why it had only one emergency beacon onboard, Kuropyatnikov said.
The system failed to alarm the crew on time “because the plane crashed into the mountain only eight seconds after it could be activated, while according to international regulations, data can be transmitted within 40 seconds,” he added.
The plane was on a short demonstration flight for potential buyers when it slammed into Mount Salak near Jakarta on May 9. All 45 people on board were killed.
Indonesian and Russian officials have said the aircraft experienced no technical problems up until impact, but insisted it was still premature to say if pilot error caused the crash.