UAVs deployed as search for IAF's AN-32 transport aircraft enters 4th day
Guwahati, June 06: The relentless search for the Indian Air Force (IAF)'s AN-32 transport aircraft which just vanished from the radar screens around 1 pm on Monday (June 3) entered fourth day on Thursday. The Indian Army has deployed its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)s to search for the missing plane
The missing plane was traveling from Jorhat in Assam to a remote military landing strip in Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh. The AN-32, with 13 people on board, took off from Jorhat in Assam at 12.25 PM on Monday and last contacted ground operations at 1 PM. When the aircraft did not land at the Mechuka forward base in Arunachal Pradesh, search operations were launched.
Along with on-ground search operations with teams from the Army, the Navy and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) troops, the IAF has also been using Sukhoi-30 jets, C-130J aircrafts. Two Mi-17 and two ALH helicopters were also been pressed into service in a bid to locate the missing aircraft. But yesterday evening, helicopter-led operations had to be called off for the day due to poor light.
"IAF has intensified efforts to locate the missing AN-32. Despite challenges posed by vegetation, inhospitable terrain & poor weather,the search has been expanded.All leads from airborne sensors are being closely assessed and followed-up with search by aircraft & ground teams..Search by IAF and Indian Army helicopters was adversely affected by weather during the day today. However, supported by #IndianArmy, #IndianNavy, Police and State Administration the search efforts by ground teams and airborne sensors will continue through the night (sic)," IAF tweeted on Wednesday..
As per reports, Indian Navy's P-8I aircraft joined operations on Tuesday while ISRO's Cartosat and RISAT satellites too have been taking images of the area where the AN-32 aircraft is suspected to have crashed.
The inclement weather with rains, low visibility and the terrain are delaying search operations.