ISRO satellites join search operations to locate missing AN-32; No success yet
New Delhi, June 04: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has reportedly received some unconfimed reports saying that the missing AN-32 may have crashed, but no wreckage has been sighted so far. Search operation to locate the missing IAF AN-32 aircraft is underway.
The IAF has deployed C-130J and AN-32 aircraft besides two Mi-17 choppers while the Indian Army has pressed into service advance light helicopters to locate the missing plane.
ISRO satellites have been pressed into service over parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to locate the missing AN-32 transport aircraft with 13 people on board. Su-30MKI, C-130J Super Hercules and other assets continuing search ops in cloudy weather, ANI reported..
"Some ground reports were received on possible location of a crash site. Helicopters were routed to the location. However, no wreckage has been sighted so far," an Indian Express report quoted IAF PRO Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh as saying.
The Indian Air Force aircraft took off from Jorhat at 12.27 pm on Monday for the Menchuka advance landing ground in Shi-Yomi district in Arunachal Pradesh and made last contact with the ground control at 1pm. A total of eight aircrew and five passengers were onboard the Air Force aircraft.
Two Mi17s and one ALH have been deployed with the ground party of the Army and the ITBP to locate the aircraft that went missing Monday with 13 people onboard.
What is AN-32 aircraft
The AN-32 is a Soviet-designed twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft which was first inducted in the IAF in 1984. Having undergone several upgrades, it has been the workhorse of the IAF transport fleet in border areas.
The last time an IAF transport aircraft went missing was in 2016, when an AN-32 disappeared over the Bay of Bengal after taking off from Chennai for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The search and rescue operation continued for weeks but the aircraft was never found. All 29 people on board were presumed dead.