No trace of IAF's missing AN-32 aircraft, SAR operation to resume on Saturday
The AN-32 aircraft, with 13 IAF personnel on board, took off from Jorhat in Assam and lost contact with ground staff before its scheduled landing in Arunachal Pradesh's Mechuka airfield.
Despite intensified search-and-rescue (SAR) operation, there's been no sighting of Indian Air Force's AN-32 aircraft which went missing on Monday (June 3) with 13 people on board. The SAR operation was called off on Friday evening due to low light and unfavorable weather conditions, and will now resume on Saturday morning.
The IAF has expanded the search operations, deploying four Mi-17, three ALH (2 of Army and 1 of IAF), two Su-30 MKI, one C-130, one Army UAV, two Cheetah helicopters along with ground troops to locate the plane. ISRO's RISAT and Cartosat satellites, and Indian Navy's Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance P-8I aircraft have also been pressed into action.
Updating about the SAR operation, the IAF said that P-8I aircraft undertook a search mission from Arakonnam on Friday morning. “The helicopters, transport aircraft, UAVs and other sensors are involved in extensive search and rescue whenever weather is permitting. The search area continues to expand to look at all possibilities. All electronic, radar, optical and infrared sensors including satellites are being employed to scan the area for any probable clues,” it tweeted.
Indian Army, Police, State Government, Paramilitary forces and local population have also joint the search operations. “Army search parties have been in the area for over two days, going through thick forest trying to locate the aircraft. Senior Air Staff Officer of Eastern Air Command is coordinating and supervising search operations at Along,” said the IAF.
“IAF is in regular touch with the families of missing air warriors. All possible assistance is being provided to the families. Some family members met Hon’ble RM on 06 Jun and they were briefed about the search efforts. AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal RD Mathur had earlier met the families of missing air warriors at Jorhat.
“IAF is not sparing any effort in locating the missing air warriors. We stand in support of the families in these difficult times,” added the IAF.
#Search for AN-32: P-8I of #IndianNavy undertook a search mission from Arakonnam this morning. Helicopters, transport aircraft, UAVs & other sensors are involved in extensive search whenever weather is permitting. 1/5 — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 7, 2019
Army #search teams have been in the area for over two days, going through thick forest to locate the aircraft. Senior Air Staff Officer of Eastern Air Command is coordinating and supervising search operations at Along. 3/5 — Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 7, 2019
The AN-32 aircraft took off from Jorhat in Assam and lost contact with ground staff before its scheduled landing in Arunachal Pradesh's Mechuka Advance Landing Ground airfield. There were 13 people - all IAF personnel - on board when the aircraft took off at 12:25 PM. Its last contact with ground staff was at 1 pm.