After 21 minutes into the demonstration flight, the pilot requested air traffic control permission to drop from 10,000 to 6,000 feet. Although there was light rain, weather conditions were not hazardous. The reason for the pilot's request to descend is not known. Shortly after the plane descended, air traffic control lost contact with the plane. Ground observers reported that the plane appeared "unsteady" before the crash. The plane did not take off from Sukarno-Hatta International Airport but from another local airfield, the Halim Air Force Base. Halim is where U.S. Special Forces troops have been training their Indonesian counterparts in various air force tactics, possibly including meaconing, intrusion, jamming, and interference (MIJI) electronic warfare tactics designed to interfere with aircraft navigation systems. Some of the training occurs every year as part of the EXERCISE COPE WEST, sponsored the Commander of the Zioconned U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. Last year's exercise, COPE WEST 10, concentrated on simulated military operations against the Chinese Air Force, which uses military aircraft designed by Sukhoi.
The Sukhoi carried a price tag much lower than its Boeing counterparts, $35 million each, and was Russia's first commercial aircraft offering since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Three new Indonesian airlines, Kartika Airlines, Sky Aviation, and Queen Air, had already placed orders for 48 SuperJets and there were another 170 orders from around the world. The crash of the SuperJet has placed the viability of the aircraft for current and future customers in doubt.
On his last visit to Indonesia, President Obama inked a deal with Indonesia's Lion Air to sell 230 Boeing aircraft with a $22 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Export-Bank. Obama said the deal to supply Boeing aircraft to Lion Air would create 110,000 U.S. jobs. However, Sukhoi's entrance into the lucrative Indonesian commercial aviation market, which now has a number of competitors to the partly state-owned and safety record-plagued Garuda Indonesian Airlines, represented a threat to Boeing's business in the country and the Boeing deal worked out by Obama.
Lion Air is owned by brothers who are former travel agents, Kusana and Rusdi Kirana. The airline's poor safety record has earned it a ban by the European Union for its poor maintenance record and lack of corporate transparency and some of its pilots have been implicated in drug smuggling. A Reuters report dated February 15, 2012 about the Singapore Air Show, which Rusdi attended, states that very little is known about the Kirana brothers, other than the fact that Kirana is also a former Brother typewriter salesman. The brothers started Lion Air a little over ten years ago.
The Singapore Air Show was attended by Boeing Southeast Asia President Ralph "Skip" Boyce, who was pushing commercial offerings, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing 737-MAX, and the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, as well as military aircraft, such as the KC-135R Stratotanker and the F-15 fighter. The entry of Sukhoi into the lucrative Asian market with the lower-cost SuperJet was seen by Boeing as a threat to its business in the region. It also helps Boeing that Obama secured the EX-IM Bank loan guarantee for Lion Air to purchase Boeing aircraft. Boyce has been the subject of past WMR reports from Southeast Asia. A former U.S. ambassador to Indonesia and Thailand, Boyce is heavily implicated in the State Department's pedophile diplomat scandals in both countries.
Lion Air's failure to introduce its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of $1 billion in stock, due to the global financial meltdown has placed the airline in financial jeopardy. Its main competitor, Garuda, has also delayed its stock float, causing a major ripple in the Indonesian aviation market....
WMR sources in Jakarta report that questions linger over the passenger manifest for the ill-fated Sukhoi SuperJet passenger plane that crashed during a demonstration flight for prospective buyers, as well as journalists and Russian officials near Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.
WMR previously reported that our sources in Asia were suspicious about industrial sabotage being carried out to deny Russia a piece of Asia's lucrative commercial aviation market at the expense of competitors, particularly Boeing.
According to officials at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport, from where the SuperJet took off, the only accurate passenger manifest was aboard the doomed aircraft. Russian news reports have stated that two Indonesian passengers decided, at the last minute, not to board the aircraft. WMR has obtained from our Indonesian contacts a copy of the planned list of passengers, including, presumably, the two Indonesians who never made the flight. The total is 50, however, the total number of dead in the crash is now being reported as 48, minus the two individuals who did not board.
1. Kornel M. Sihombing (PT. Dirgantara Indonesia)
2. Edie Satriyo (Pelita Air)
3. Darwin Pelawi (Pelita Air)
4. Gatot Purwoko (Airfast)
5. Budi Rizal (Putra Artha Dirgantara)
6. Syafruddin (Carpediem Mandiri)
7. Andika Monoarfa (Sigap Dasa Perkasa)
8. Peter Adler (Sriwijaya Air), identified as American
9. Herman Suladji (Air Maleo)
10. Donardi Rahman (Aviastar)
11. Anton Daryanto (Indonesia Air Transport)
12. Suharso Monoarfa (Manhattan Group)
13. Arief Wahyudi (PT. Trimarga Rekatama) - the person who carried the original and final manifest of passengers.
14. Haidir Bachsin (PT. Catur Daya Prima Dirgantara)
15. Nam Tran (Snecma) – identified as Vietnamese with French nationality
16. Rully Darmawan (Indo Asia)
17. Ahmad Faizal (Indo Asia)
18. Edward Edo M (Indo Asia)
19. Ismiyati (Trans TV)
20. Aditya Sukardi (Trans TV)
21. Dodi Aviantara (Angkasa Magazine)
22. D.N Yusuf (Angkasa Magazine)
23. Femi (Bloomberg)
24. Stephen Kamachi (Indo Asia)
25. Capt. Aan (Kartika)
26. Yusuf Ari Wibowo (Sky Aviation)
27. Maria Marcella (Sky Aviation), identified as Italian
28. Henny Stevani (Sky Aviation)
29. Maisyarah (Sky Aviation)
30. Dewi Mutiara (Sky Aviation)
31. Susana Pamela (Sky Aviation), identified as Italian
32. Nur Ilmawati (Sky Aviation)
33. Rossy Withan (Sky Aviation)
34. Anggi (Sky Aviation)
35. Aditia (Sky Aviation)
36. Yabloncev (Sukhoi)
37. Kirkin (Sukhoi)
38. Kochetkov (Sukhoi)
39. Rakhimov (Sukhoi)
40. Rakhimov (Sukhoi)
41. Shvetsov (Sukhoi)
42. Martishenko (Sukhoi)
43. Grebenshikov (Sukhoi)
44. Kurzhupova (Sukhoi)
45. Salim K (Sky Aviation)
46. Ade Arisanti (Sky Aviation)
47. Raymond Sukando (Sky Aviation)
48. Santi (Sky Aviation)
49. Edy Saryoko (Gatary)