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An AN-32 aircraft
An AN-32 aircraft|Representional image 
ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Bad weather, low visibility a pilot’s worst nightmare in Arunachal

Mechuka in Shi Yomi district, where the ill-fated IAF AN-32 aircraft was headed to with 13 people on board, had been witnessing rainfall and cloud cover over the last 12 hrs

Sandeep Borah

Sandeep Borah

Itanagar: Turbulent weather has always been an aircraft pilot’s worst nightmare. In Arunachal Pradesh, this is not something new.

As per weather reports, Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi Yomi district has been witnessing slight rainfall and cloud cover in the last 12 hours. Although it’s too early to speculate if bad weather actually played spoilsport in the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft’s journey, it’s a well-known fact in the frontier state.

As per reports by American weather forecasting platform AccuWeather, in the past 12 hours, the sky was partly covered by clouds with humidity levels at 83%, air pressure at 1009.40 mb, cloud cover of 70%, ceiling of 488 m and visibility of 6 km. Light rainfall of 10 mm was also predicted for the day.

The AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force took off from Jorhat in Assam and was flying to Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi-Yomi district when it went missing near Aalo. It was carrying 13 passengers on board.

While reports said that the wreckage may have been found near Payum village, rescue teams from both the Indian Air force and Arunachal Pradesh police are on the job to trace the whereabouts of the missing plane.

The Indian Air Force has deployed all available resources, including Sukhoi Su-30 combat fighter jets and C-130J Hercules special operations aircraft, to locate the missing aircraft. Troops on ground too have fanned out to hunt for the missing plane.

In July 2016, in a similar incident, an AN-32 transport aircraft career of the IAF disappeared over the Bay of Bengal with 29 people on board. The plane had taken off from an airbase in Chennai and was headed to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The aircraft was never found and search operations were called off in September 2016.