No trace of missing IAF AN-32 plane as yet; Defence Minister undertakes aerial survey

The plane was 280 kilometres east of Chennai when it fell off the radar.

By Deepak Nagpal | Updated: Jul 23, 2016, 14:38 PM IST
No trace of missing IAF AN-32 plane as yet; Defence Minister undertakes aerial survey

Chennai: Search operations continued on Saturday for an Indian Air Force plane that went missing in the Bay of Bengal on Friday.

The IAF AN-32 "courier flight" with 29 people on board was flying from the Tambaram air base near Chennai to Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands when it vanished from radar at 9.12 am.

The plane was 280 kilometres east of Chennai when it fell off the radar.

As per reports, more than 12 Navy and Coast Guard ships carried on the search operation through the night in their respective search areas.

A P8I, one CGDO and a C130 have also been deployed in the area for the search operations, ANI reported.


Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar also arrived in Chennai today to monitor the search operations for the missing aircraft.

Upon his arrival, he boarded an aircraft from Tambaram for an aerial survey of the search operations.

"All efforts are being made to trace the missing plane and the service personnel on board," Parrikar had said yesterday.

Among the 29 people on board the transport aircraft were six crew members and eight civilians (family members of IAF personnel). Others on board included 11 IAF personnel, one Navy and two Army soldiers and a coast guard member, NDTV reported.

It is suspected that the plane plunged rapidly from an altitude of 23,000 feet.

The last call from the pilots was received around 16 minutes after take-off. The pilots had then said, "everything is normal".

A naval submarine, which is part of the search team, will be looking to track the signal from the emergency beacon locator on the aircraft which gets activated in case of a crash.

The Indian Air Force currently has more than 100 Russian-made AN-32s in service.