Stay with EastMojo as we give you the latest updates from the massive search and rescue operations being undertaken by the Indian Air Force along with other agencies
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) of the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft were recovered by the rescue team at the crash site on Friday.
Meanwhile, the process of recovering the mortal remains of all the air warriors is still on at the crash site. "Weather continues to be marginal and is affecting the pace of recovery. All efforts are being made to expeditiously complete the task using all resources of civil, Army and Indian Air Force, said defence sources.
* 15 mountaineers have been inducted by Mi-17s and ALH with all equipment at crash site.
* These include nine from IAF mountaineering team, four from Army and two civilian mountaineers.
* Some have reached the crash site and some are still tracking.
* Further information will be available after their “de-induction”, said defence sources
After having located the crash site, a team comprising personnel from the Indian Air Force, Indian Army and civil mountaineers have been airlifted to a location close to the crash site.
Air Marshal RD Mathur, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Air Command, complimented the search team for their relentless effort spanning eight days.
Additionally, he thanked the state administration which, under the personal supervision of CM Pema Khandu and state chief secretary Satya Gopal, has extended unflinching support to the IAF towards locating the missing An-32. The proud and highly patriotic people of the state have worked tirelessly to help the IAF for a national cause, a press release issued on Wednesday said.
The rescue mission of inducting teams to the crash site by helicopters has begun. Mi17s and ALH from the Army are being utilised.
"However, nearest landing site has been identified & the rescue operation by helicopters will commence tomorrow early morning. Ground forces will continue to reach the crash site during the night," tweets Indian Air Force (IAF).
"After identification of the wreckage of #An32 by Mi-17V5, the Cheetah of #IAF & #ALH of #IndianArmy reached the crash site. Due to high elevation & dense forest, helicopters could not land next to the crash site," tweets Indian Air Force (IAF)
The aircraft seems to have lost control at Payum after takeoff from Jorhat and it appears to have turned left towards Mechuka from Gasheng village before finally losing full control near Gatte village, said Somar Potom, the deputy director of Arunachal Pradesh Energy Development Agency (APEDA).
Potom had been deputed by the West Siang district administration to be part of the search operation. He disclosed that as the wreckage site has been spotted, he along with pilots and the authorities concerned at IAF have started for a final survey.
Potom has been with the search team for the last six days.
The latest incident bears another uncanny similarity to a similar episode of 2009.
As reported by EastMojo earlier, the IAF aircraft with eight crew members and five passengers on board took off from Assam at 12.27 in the afternoon and made the last contact with ground station around 1 pm. Thereafter, there was no contact with the aircraft.
Likewise, on June 9, 2009, another AN-32 aircraft with the same number of people -- 13 -- on board went missing. The only difference then was that the aircraft was on its way to Jorhat in Assam from Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, and not the other way round, as was the case on Monday.
Adding to the list, the wreckage for both the aircraft was found at an elevation of 12,000 ft!
Lipo is one of the remotest villages falling under the Tato circle of Shi Yomi district in Arunachal Pradesh, said resident of the area.
"It's a secluded place, there is no road connectivity. During elections, even officials don't want to go there because they have to go by foot and have to cross a big mountain," the resident added.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force tweeted that the wreckage has indeed been spotted 16 km north of Lipo, northeast of Tato, at an approximate elevation of 12,000 ft by an Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the region.
The IAF also said that efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and survivors. “Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress,” it tweeted.
Siang deputy commissioner (DC) Rajiv Takuk said that the wreckage has been spotted. “However, the same is yet to be verified on ground. A team has been sent to verify the same,” he said.
Takuk added that there is every possibility that the wreckage could be that of the missing IAF aircraft. The site where the wreckage was spotted is said to be on the left bank of Siyom river near Gatte village under Payum circle of Siang district.
Over a week after an AN-32 went missing from Arunachal Pradesh on June 3, the wreckage of the ill-fated aircraft has been reportedly spotted near Gatte village in the Payum circle of Siang district on Tuesday.
However, at the time of filing this report, the wreckage was yet to be verified at the ground level.
According to sources, the wreckage, believed to be that of the AN-32 aircraft, was reportedly spotted by an Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The wreckage of the Indian Air Force (IAF)'s AN-32 aircraft that went missing on June 3 has been spotted 16 km north of Lipo and northeast of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 ft by an Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone, said an official press release.
"Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress," the release added.