Wreckage of missing IAF An-32 aircraft found after 8 days of search
NEW DELHI (The Statesman/ANN) - Wreckage believed to be that of India Air Force An-32 aircraft that went missing with 13 people on board on June 3, has been found in Arunachal Pradesh.
According to the IAF, the parts of the Antonov AN-32 aircraft were spotted on Tuesday 16 km north of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search operations in the expanded search zone.
The IAF further informed that efforts are being made to establish the status of the occupants of the aircraft and the survivors.
The AN-32 aircraft went missing on June 3 after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat airbase for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh.
The aircraft had last contacted ground sources at 1 pm Monday after taking off from Jorhat airbase at 12:25 pm.
Following its disappearance, the IAF had scrambled Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and C-130J transport planes for search operations.
Fighter aircraft, helicopters, aircraft carrying specialised sensors, satellites and all possible civil, police and local administrative agencies were pressed into service to locate the missing plane.
The Indian Navy had also deployed its long-range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8I to join the rescue mission.
ISRO too was brought in to enhance the effectiveness of the search operations.
The Indian Air Force had also announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for anyone who provides credible information to help locate the missing Antonov AN-32 aircraft.
According to reports, tribal villagers of Arunachal Pradesh’s Molo village saw “thick black smoke” rising from a mountain on Monday – the day the aircraft lost contact with ground staff.
In July 2016, an Indian Air Force An-32 aircraft went missing over the Bay of Bengal with 29 people on board while on its way to Port Blair from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai.
Despite a massive search operation – India’s largest search operation for a missing plane over the sea – involving the ships and aircraft of Indian Navy and the IAF and scanning of 2,17,800 square nautical miles of Bay and Bengal, the aircraft could not be found.
After months of search, the rescue operation was called off. The government informed the then Lok Sabha that there were no survivors on board the aircraft.
In June 2009, an AN-32 aircraft went missing after going off the radar was later found to have crashed in the jungles between West Singa and Shi Yomi districts.
The aircraft was carrying 13 people and was flying for Mechuka advanced landing ground.