There were 45 people aboard the Sukhoi SuperJet 100, the first completely new airliner produced by Russia after the collapse of the Soviet empire.
On Thursday, rescue teams discovered the first bodies from the downed aircraft, which slammed into an Indonesian volcano.
"So far we haven't found any survivors, but we are still searching," national search-and-rescue agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso said, according to the Associated Press. "I cannot say anything about the condition of the bodies," he continued, adding only that: "A high-speed jet plane hit the cliff, exploded and tore apart."
The Sukhoi airliner took off from Jakarta's airport on Wednesday afternoon, and ground-based radar contact was lost at 2:33 p.m. local time in West Java. Twenty-one minutes after takeoff, the pilot and co-pilot requested permission to alter the plane's altitude downward, from 10,000 feet to 6,000. Indonesian officials do not know why the request was made or it it was approved, but they point out that it was a puzzling request since the jet was close to 7,000-foot-tall Mount Salak, a dormant volcano.
The Sukhoi SuperJet 100 was designed to be the desperately needed replacement airliner for Russian commercial jets that are dangerously old. The $35 million jet can carry nearly 100 passengers and has a range of about 2,500 miles.
The jet was on a promotional tour to help drum up interest from Asian airlines. It carried mostly journalists and airline representatives.
The United States has not had a major commerical airliner incident or crash since the fuselage of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Flight 812 ruptured in midair on April 1, 2011. No injuries were reported in that incident.