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May 31, 2012

Indonesians retrieve missing recorder from crashed Russian jet

Indonesians retrieve missing recorder from crashed Russian jet

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

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Villagers assisting recovery efforts for a Russian passenger jet that crashed in Indonesia have found the aircraft’s missing flight data recorder. All 45 on board were killed when the Sukhoi Superjet 100 crashed during a demonstration flight earlier this month.

Sukhoi’s first-ever Superjet 100 on display, from file. Credit:Marina Lystseva

The cockpit voice recorder was found several days after the plane hit Mount Salak, West Java on May 9. A landslide triggered by the impact had concealed the flight data recorder, but it was uncovered today after recent rains removed some of the soil it was under. “It seems to be intact,” said Ketut Purwa, who is leading the recovery. It was sent to Jakarta for examination.

The recorder was found in a ravine 30 metres from the tail, which was also located by villagers. It contains a log of technical data from the 40-minute demonstration, which aimed to attract Indonesian airlines to buy Superjet 100s.

Tatang Kurniadi, head of the National Transportation Safety Committee, explained “The FDR emits a signal for up to a month but only if it’s underwater. It doesn’t work on land”. In addition to the Indonesian investigation, Russian authorities have launched a criminal probe. The dead include eight Russians. Kurniadi also said work to complete an Indonesian translation of the voice recorder transcript is nearing completion.

The aircraft had asked for permission to descend to 6,000 feet shortly before the crash. It then hit the 7,200-foot mountain near Jakarta. In the midst of an Asian tour, Sukhoi had placed an experienced pilot in charge of the plane.

The Superjet 100 is intended to reinvigorate the Russian aviation industry, and is the nation’s first new airliner since the Soviet era. With a maiden flight in 2008, it entered service last year and Sukhoi boasts 200 orders. The twin-engine jet seats around 100 and costs buyers US$31.7 million.



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May 10, 2012

Russian passenger jet crashes on Indonesian demonstration flight

Russian passenger jet crashes on Indonesian demonstration flight

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

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A plane built by Russia’s Sukhoi has crashed in Indonesia with around 50 people on board during a demonstration flight to potential customers. The Superjet 100 struck a cliff as it descended over mountains near Jakarta.

The aircraft departed Halim Perdanakusuma Airport at around 2pm local time yesterday and was due to return 50 minutes later. A search and rescue mission was dispatched to West Java, where the aircraft crashed in the Salak mountain range. Bad weather and nightfall initially hampered rescue efforts but a helicopter found the crash site after dawn.

Sukhoi’s first-ever Superjet 100 on display, from file. Credit:Marina Lystseva

Everything reportedly was normal that day on a preflight check and earlier demonstration flight. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev today ordered an investigation into the accident, while Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono today said “I expect that there will be a full and careful investigation”.

Those on board include journalists, Russian diplomats, and representatives of prospective customer airlines. The flight crew had requested permission for a descent from 10,000ft to 6,000ft shortly before contact was lost. It struck a 7,000ft mountain and the reason for the descent is not immediately apparent. The jet was touring Asia on a sales promotion with stops including Pakistan, Vietnam, Laos, Kazakhstan, and Burma.

With a maiden flight in 2008, several Superjet 100s are in service and Sukhoi boasts orders for about 200 more. The first newly-designed post-Soviet Russian airliner, a commercial offering by military planemaker Sukhoi, it seats around 100 and retails for US$31.7 million. This is cheaper than products from Canada; and Sukhoi has sought the services of Western firms including Thales of France and Finmeccanica of Italy, potentially mitigating safety fears about Soviet-era technology.

Sukhoi’s top test pilot, Alexander Yablontsev, and co-pilot Alexander Kochetkov reportedly were due to be at the controls of the crashed plane. The exact number on board is reported as being from 44 to 50. Sukhoi Civil Aircraft boss Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk said the flight carried eight, including technical staff, from Russia; two from Italy; and one each from France and the United States. The wreckage is in small pieces and, following unconfirmed reports saying bodies were seen, a search team reported no survivors found but several corpses.

So far, Aeroflot of Russia and Armavia of Armenia are the only airlines to have brought the jet into service. Mexico has recently given approval to the plane, allowing Western operator Interjet to join the Russian airlines before year’s end. Sukhoi hopes to scale up production, presently below planned levels, and already has firm deals in place in Asia including with Kartika Airlines of Indonesia.



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May 9, 2012

Russian passenger jet vanishes on Indonesian demonstration flight

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

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A plane built by Russia’s Sukhoi has vanished in Indonesia with around 50 people on board during a demonstration flight to potential customers. The Superjet 100 was last heard from as it descended over mountains near Jakarta.

The aircraft departed Halim Perdanakusuma Airport at around 2pm local time and was due to return 50 minutes later. A 200-strong search and rescue mission was dispatched to West Java, where the aircraft dropped over the Salak mountain range. Bad weather and nightfall has hampered rescue efforts so far.

Sukhoi’s first-ever Superjet 100 on display, from file. Credit:Marina Lystseva

“We are still looking for it and we are uncertain whether it crashed,” said a spokesperson for the county’s national Search and Rescue Authority. The Russian Transportation Ministry said everything was normal on a preflight check and the jet was, “absolutely flightworthy”.

Those on board include journalists, Russian diplomats, and representatives of prospective customer airlines. The flight crew had requested permission for a descent shortly before contact was lost. The jet was touring Asia on a sales promotion with stops including Pakistan, Vietnam, Laos, Kazakhstan, and Burma.

With a maiden flight in 2008, several Superjet 100s are in service and Sukhoi boasts orders for 200 more. The first newly-designed post-Soviet Russian airliner, and military planemaker Sukhoi’s only commercial offering, it seats around 100 and retails for US$31.7 million. This is cheaper than products from main rivals Embraer and Bombardier, and Sukhoi has sought the services of Western firms including Boeing of the US, Thales of France, and Finmeccanica of Italy to try and subdue safety fears.

The missing aircraft is presently believed to have crashed. Sukhoi’s top test pilot, Alexander Yablontsev, and co-pilot Alexander Kochetkov reportedly were due to be at the controls. The exact number on board is reported as being from 44 to 50.

So far, Aeroflot and Armavia of Russia are the only airlines to have brought the jet into service. Mexico has recently given approval to the plane, allowing Western operator Interjet to join the Russian airlines before year’s end. Sukhoi hopes to scale up production, presently below planned levels, and already has firm deals in place in Asia including with Kartika Airlines of Indonesia.



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December 10, 2009

Thousands of Indonesians protest against corruption

Thousands of Indonesians protest against corruption

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

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Several thousand people marched earlier today in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, to protest corruption in the country.

Most of them were students protesting the latest corruption scandal in the country. It involves allegations that a US$600 million government bailout was given to Century Bank on condition that some of the money be used to fund the president’s re-election campaign.

“Today’s aim is not to attack politically any party. We just want to send a message to our fellow countrymen […] that justice cannot be served while corruption is still rampant in our country,” said the organiser of the demonstration, Usman Hamid, as quoted by the Al Jazeera news agency.

The legislature is investigating the bailout and the possible roles played by Vice President Boediono and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani in orchestrating a deal. The government, however, denies the charges.

Thousands more demonstrated in other cities and towns across the country. Most rallies were without incident, but in the town of Makassar, located in South Sulawesi, students armed with rocks and wooden planks clashed with anti-riot police.

The news media report that police fired tear gas to break up the crowd after protesters tried to storm the provincial governor’s office. There was no immediate report of injuries or arrests among the 2,000 protesters.



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August 14, 2009

Wikinews Shorts: August 14, 2009

Wikinews Shorts: August 14, 2009 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: August 14, 2009

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A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, August 14, 2009.

Bali bomber still at large

A body recovered by Indonesian police on August 8th is not that of Noordin Mohammed Top. The Indonesian authorities had been optimistic that Top, the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombings, had been killed on Saturday in a gun battle that concluded a 17 hour siege in the Temanggung district of Central Java.

DNA tests suggests that the body is that of a man identified only as Ibrahim, a florist who was the inside man in the attacks on luxury hotels in Jakarta this July.

Sources

Obama health reforms faces grassroots opposition

Attempts by President Barack Obama to reform the health care in the United States has been met with grassroots opposition. Critics fear that Obama’s reforms are an attempt to socialise health care. However, the President has dismissed such apprehension as an attempt to “scare and mislead” by vested interests hoping to derail the reforms.

Opposition adverts which feature the alleged failures and rationing of healthcare in the British National Health Service (NHS), have been rebutted by citizens, politicians and the media. Spurred on by American commentators that described that the NHS as “evil’ and Orwellian, with over a million responses to an on-line Twitter campaign, called welovetheNHS started in support of the NHS.

Sources

British deaths in Afghanistan reaches 199

Three British soldiers of have been killed by an explosion whilst on foot patrol near the town of Sangin in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

The death of the soldiers — two from the 2nd Battalion The Rifles and one from 40 Regiment Royal Artillery — brings the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 199.

“[These deaths] brings us very close to the sad milestone of 200 fatalities in this conflict. We cannot help but reflect on the toll the mission has taken…” said Bob Ainsworth, the British Secretary of State for Defence.

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August 9, 2009

Wikinews Shorts: August 9, 2009

Wikinews Shorts: August 9, 2009 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: August 9, 2009

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, August 9, 2009.

Indonesia’s most wanted man believed to be killed

File:NoordinTop-FBI.jpg

Photo of Noordin Mohammed Top from FBI wanted poster.
Image: FBI.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Indonesia is to carry out DNA tests on the body of a man killed in the Temanggung district of Central Java. The body is believed to be that of Noordin Mohammed Top. Born in Malaysia, Top is believed to have been behind a string of terrorist attacks in Indonesia since 2002, including the 2002 Bali bombings and the bombing of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels this July.

After a 16-hour siege, Indonesia’s elite Detachment 88 stormed a building in Beji village that police intelligence officers believe was occupied by Top and his group.

In an unrelated police raid two would-be suicide bombers were also killed; the target of their truck bomb was believed to be a residence owned by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Sources

Iran holds second mass trial

Following a mass trial on August 1, at which critics of the Ahmadinejad regime were tried for sedition, Iran has on Saturday initiated a second mass trial of those it accuses of attempting to destabilise the Iranian state. Amongst the dozen accused are staff members of the British and French embassies and a French national. Both France and Britain have protested, with British officials calling the situation “completely unacceptable” and the French saying that the Iranian allegations were “absolutely baseless”.

In what have been described as show trials, opposition leaders have confessed to crimes against the state.

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Ronnie Biggs released to die a free man

Great train robber Ronnie Biggs has been released from prison custody on compassionate grounds by British Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw. Biggs, aged 80, is suffering from pneumonia and is said to have just days to live.

His release comes on the day of his birthday and the 46th anniversary of the crime that made him infamous.

Sources

Laos transfers drug-charge Briton to serve life sentence in UK

Samantha Orobator, a British 20-year-old from Peckham, London has been returned to the United Kingdom to serve out the remainder of a life sentence for drug smuggling. Convicted in Laos of attempting to smuggle 680g of heroin, Orobator initially faced execution by firing squad, which she escaped only when she became pregnant.

The circumstances of her trial and the circumstances of how she came to be pregnant has led to human rights organisation Reprieve to call for the quashing of her conviction. However the British government has indicated that it will honour its prisoner repatriation agreement with Laos.

Sources

News Corporation to charge for online content

In a move championed by its chief executive officer, Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation announced it will charge for online content across all its titles by the end of the year. News Corporation owns the publications The Times and The Wall Street Journal amongst other media interests.

The move comes after a collapse in advertising revenues and US$3.4 billion of losses in the fiscal year just ended. Murdoch explained “…quality journalism is not cheap” and said his plan will “save journalism”. He says he is confident that competitors will follow his lead.

Sources

Obama: “we’ve rescued our economy from catastrophe”

Buoyed by better then expected unemployment figures for July, President Barack Obama claimed on Friday that the United States economy is “pointed in the right’ direction and that “we’ve rescued our economy from catastrophe”.

His speech comes in the wake of Bureau of Labor Statistics figures indicating that 200,000 fewer jobs were lost in July then in June.

Sources

Hong Kong Disciplined Services continue to demand pay parity

Five of Hong Kong’s six Disciplined Services continue to press the territory’s government for pay parity with the Hong Kong Police Force. Although industrial action is for the time being unlikely unions representing officers from correctional services, customs and excise, fire services, immigration and government flying services will hold a mass meeting later this month to put pressure on the government.

Similar rank and grade structures are used through out the six services, however despite the claim that customs and police officers having similar duties and workloads, a police officer will receive up to HK$7,900 more than a custom officer of the same rank.

Sources

Twitter victim of Russian-Georgian hostility

Social networking site Twitter is the unlikely victim of the ongoing hostility between Russia and Georgia. However, on the anniversary of the South Ossetian war, Russian hackers launched a mass denial-of-service attack aimed at silencing Cyxymu, a Georgian economics professor critical of Russia. In addition to Twitter other sites at which Cyxymu posted were also attacked, however being a smaller operation the attacks caused a complete outage of Twitter while the other sites were merely slowed.

Sources

Pakistan Taliban leader dies in succession battle

Pakistani intelligence service sources state that Hakimullah Mehsud leader of Fedayeen al-Islam has been killed in a fight for the leadership of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) an al-Qaeda ally.

The statement comes a day after public speculation of the death of TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud in a drone attack on the 5th of August. Baitullah and Hakimullah are cousins with Hakimullah serving as a deputy to Baitullah. The TTP is a coalition of disparate groups and without the charisma and leadership of Baitullah, appears to have fallen victim to internal feuding. According to sources Hakimullah Mehsud met with rival Taliban leader Waliur Rehman to determine the succession, word at the shura became heated and led to a gunfight that resulted in the death of Hakimullah and the serious wounding of Rehman.

Hakimullah had earlier issued statements denying Baitullah’s death.

Sources

Felicia weakens to a tropical storm

5-day forecast track map of Felicia
Image: NHC.

Hurricane Felicia has weakened to a tropical storm, but residents of Hawaii are continuing to monitor the storm’s progress as it approaches the islands.

Tropical storm watches were posted for portions of the state, and some beaches have been closed in anticipation of high surf. Meanwhile, emergency supplies were selling rapidly at local stores: “Things are just flying out”, said Vicki Lebowitz, manager of The City Mill in Oahu.

The storm, once a Category 4 major hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, is expected to further weaken before making landfall on Hawaii.

Sources



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July 17, 2009

Explosions kill eight in Jakarta

Explosions kill eight in Jakarta – Wikinews, the free news source

Explosions kill eight in Jakarta

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Friday, July 17, 2009

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Eight people have been killed, including the two suicide bombers, and many more injured in two explosions at around 7.50 am local time in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Reports from local news cite a Canadian, an American, and a Swedish citizen as being among the dead. Most of the wounded have been taken to local hospitals for treatment.

File:JW Marriott Hotel-Jakarta.JPG
The J.W. Marriott in Jakarta.
Image: Lofor .

The explosions were at two luxury hotels, the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, popular with foreign businessmen in the business district and are reported to have occurred in the hotel restaurants during breakfast. The two hotels are connected by an underground tunnel.

Indonesian security were at first unwilling to confirm that this was a terrorist attack, however later reports revealed the attack to be the work of two suicide bombers.

A bomber and five victims died at the Marriott. At the Ritz-Carlton one person was killed in addition to the bomber.

According to police, the dozens of wounded included citizens of Indonesia, Australia, South Korea, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Japan, India, and the United States.

Several amateur videos of the site after the bombing, taken by local residents, show large amounts of smoke; the two explosions took place only two minutes apart. The near simultaneous detonation of devices at multiple targets frequented by foreigners is a hallmark of the Indonesian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah.

An additional, unexploded bomb was later found and defused at the Marriott.

This has been the first successful bombing in some years. The same Marriott was previously the target of a terrorist car bomb in 2003.

A third explosion took place some hours later, in Muara Angke, North Jakarta. The police have declared this event to be unrelated to the other explosions, stating it was simply a car accident that lead to a tire burst and engine short circuit.



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May 20, 2009

Airplane crash in Indonesia kills 100

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Airplane crash in Indonesia kills 100

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Disasters and accidents

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Drawing of a C-130H

At least 98 people have been confirmed dead and a further fifteen wounded after an Indonesian Air Force Hercules C-130 airplane crashed in a housing area in the city of Magetan, East Java in Indonesia early Wednesday.

The plane had taken off from the country’s capital of Jakarta and was preparing to land at a military base nearby the crash site.

“As such the total number of people dead or injured so far is 113, including the two people on the ground. Meanwhile, reports of another person who died but has not been found cannot be verified as yet,” said Banbang Sulistyo, the air force’s chief of information. He added that investigations are currently ongoing to determine what caused the accident.

The cause of the incident is as of yet uncertain, as the plane was reported to have been in good condition, and the weather was suitable for landing.

Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called an emergency meeting at his presidential palace with the Armed Forces and Air Force chief and defence minister.

“From the explanation I received from them […] it cannot be determined yet if the crash was because of weather conditions, mechanical failure or human error. It’s better not to speculate what caused the crash,” he told reporters after the meeting,” the president said.

Witness reports say there was an explosion shortly before the plane crashed. “I heard at least two big explosions and saw flashes of fire inside the plane,” said an eyewitness, a man working in a rice field near where the aircraft crashed. “The wing snapped off and fell to the ground.”

The accident is the deadliest in the Indonesian Air Force’s history since an airplane crash in 1991 in Condet, East Java, which killed 135 people.



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March 28, 2009

Dam in Indonesia bursts, dozens killed

Dam in Indonesia bursts, dozens killed – Wikinews, the free news source

Dam in Indonesia bursts, dozens killed

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

On Friday, a dam burst in a southwestern suburb of Jakarta, Indonesia, killing at least 52 people and displacing a further 1,490. Officials, however, warn that the death toll will likely increase.

The cause of the accident appears to be due to heavy rains that night, which overfilled the Situ Gintung lake behind the broken dam. “The dam was an old dam, 16 metres deep. Last night, because of heavy rain, the dam could not hold back the water so it broke,” said the governor of the Banten province, Ratu Atut Chosiyah.

File:JavaLocatie-1-.png

Jakarta is on the island of Java
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The breach occurred at approximately 02:00 local time (UTC+7), when many people were in bed, asleep. “People were still sleeping and couldn’t do anything. Many people are still trapped and the rescue is ongoing,” a local official said to Agence France-Presse.

Rescue efforts were hampered due to a deluge of mud and debris from the dam. “We’re still trying to get into the houses, but the problem is, mud is getting in our way,” social affairs spokesman Mardjito said.

The President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, offered his condolences to the victims of the disaster. “On behalf of the government, I express my condolences to the families of the dead victims and may their souls be accepted by God almighty,” he said.

Indonesia’s Vice President Yusuf Kalla has visited the scene of the incident. “We will provide emergency help to the victims. For those whose homes were destroyed, the government will help with the repairs,” he told Metro TV.

A major concern following this flood is the risk of water-borne diseases such as malaria. These problems are made worse by the local climate being very hot and humid.

The Situ Gintung dam was built early last century, during the Dutch colonial rule. It was holding back a lake of about two million cubic metres (70 million cubic feet) of water.



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June 27, 2008

Indonesian military plane disappears

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Indonesian military plane disappears

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Map of Indonesia

A Casa-212 aircraft owned by the Indonesian air force disappeared while on a flight from the capital Jakarta to Bogor in West Java Friday morning.

The plane was carrying 12 Indonesian military personnel and 6 civilians including a British, Singaporean and Indian national.

The plane was tasked to test a new digital camera designed to conduct aerial mapping and topography.

The aircraft was last sighted on radar in the Salak moutain region on the main island of Java, 90 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of the Indonesian capital.

The Indonesian military has deployed a search and rescue team in the area.

Authorities fear that the aircraft crashed in a densely forested area making any rescue difficult.

Air Force spokesman Chaeruddin Ray said the region was covered in thick fog and in a rough terrain.

Three planes and forty people were deployed into the region to look for the downed plane.

Indonesia has been plagued with several plane accidents resulting in a ban on the entry of Indonesian airlines into European airports. This is the second incident in Indonesian aviation involving a Casa-212. In January of 2008, a similar plane model owned by a private company also crashed.

The Casa-212 is a design by Spanish avionics company Construcciones Aeronáuticas, a turbo-prop plane designed for a short take-off and landing.

The Spanish company licensed an Indonesian avionics firm to assemble and manufacture this aircraft.



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