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CFIT was cause of Indonesia jet crash, investigators find


A prototype Sukhoi Superjet 100 crashed in Indonesia in May, killing all 45 people on board, because the flight crew ignored a series of low altitude alerts and commands from the cockpit’s terrain warning system. That was the finding this week of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, which investigated the crash. The board said the pilots had asked controllers to descend from about 10,000 feet to about 6,000 feet shortly before the crash, but Jakarta’s radar system was not equipped with a minimum safe altitude warning system in that part of Indonesia’s airspace. The first cockpit warning came 38 seconds before the crash, and was followed by six more warnings, which the crew disabled thinking that there was an error with the terrain database. The investigative board ran simulations that found that even if the crew had responded to the alerts as little as 14 seconds before the crash, the accident could have been avoided. The crash was seen as a major setback in the development of Russia’s first new jet in years. Even still, Indonesia’s aviation regulators certified the Sukhoi Superjet for flights in the country last month.