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The probe by Indonesian air safety specialists into the crash of a Sukhoi SuperJet flight found no sign of aircraft-systems failure, the plane’s manufacturer said.
The plane’s cockpit voice recorder showed that the collision-avoidance system was working, United Aircraft Corp., the Moscow-based parent of Sukhoi, the manufacturer of the 90- seat plane, said in a statement.
“Indications of the failure of the aircraft’s systems and components were not discovered,” United Aircraft said on its website. The plane’s collision-avoidance system was providing information on distance to the ground, the company said.
Cockpit recorders can reveal whether any system-failure alarms sounded and show whether audible warnings indicated a crashed plane was about to hit an obstacle. The hunt for the digital flight data recorder continues, with special forces now replacing an earlier search team. That recorder contains information on the functioning of the plane’s systems and engines.
The plane crashed May 9 into a mountainside in Indonesia’s West Java province, killing all 45 people on board. The Sukhoi jet was on a promotional trip through Asia.
The investigation may be critical in deciding the future of Russia’s first new passenger plane in more than two decades as President Vladimir Putin seeks to revive his nation’s aerospace industry. The 90-seat Sukhoi SuperJet was designed with western partners to compete with aircraft built by Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B) and Embraer SA. (EMBR3)
United said the information came from the results of a joint investigation of the accident undertaken by Indonesia’s National Committee for Transport Safety and by Russian authorities.
“Let the investigation finish first,” said Tatang Kurniadi, head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, who spoke by telephone. He referred to the initial published statement about the investigation as a “common protocol.”
United said nothing in the statement about any information gleaned from cockpit conversations or whether pilots spoke in the final minutes of the flight.
A cockpit voice recorder would also be able to capture the sounds of engines being put into higher thrust if pilots responded to a collision-warning alarm. The statement didn’t indicate anything about engine noises.
The plane, which seats five abreast, uses engines built by PowerJet, a venture between Snecma, a unit of Safran SA (SAF), and NPO Saturn. The aircraft had been on its second flight of the day, carrying prospective customers and local journalists, when it disappeared from radar screens shortly into its voyage.
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