New Delhi: A week after the crash of a MiG-29 fighter in Lahaul-Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh, the
wreckage of the plane is yet to be located during search
operations by the IAF which carried out 132 sorties and the
fate of the pilot is still not known.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has also approached the
National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) to make available data
of the probable search area through its satellites.
"This effort was important as no radio call was received
from the crashed aircraft and early sighting of the missing
pilot and the aircraft wreckage was important," an IAF
spokesperson said here on Tuesday.
Troops from Indian Army`s Ladakh Scouts and IAF
mountaineers have also been pressed into the operation to
locate the aircraft.
The IAF had deployed all its frontline aircraft such as
the Su-30 MKI, Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Jaguars,
AN-32, Avros and all types of helicopters in its inventory to
locate the MiG-29, which crashed on the night of October 18
over a mountainous area.
"Till date, 132 sorties have been flown for search and
rescue (SAR) operations of the MiG-29 and its pilot (Sqdrn Ldr
D S Tomar) but the high altitude and treacherous mountainous
region at elevations extending upto 20,000 ft and lack of
communication from the pilot have made the operation very
demanding," IAF spokesperson said here today.
All available data and inputs from the formation leader,
data on his aircraft as well as reports from civil police
received through villagers in the area were collated to
ascertain the probable crash site, they said.
"Within first 24 hours 22 sorties of SU-30, Jaguar,
Cheetah, Chetak and An-32 aircraft were mounted that flew over
41 hours with there hi-tech search equipments," they said.