Indian Air Force (IAF) continues its search for the missing AN-32 aircraft. Today, the weather in the area was poor, adversely hampering the search by aerial platforms. Helicopters and transport aircraft could carry out very limited operations due to low clouds and rain in the area. However, ground teams have continued the search in full force. The ground teams have made considerable headway into the search area, which has been progressively expanded based on inputs from multiple sources. Search on ground will continue through the night.
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa is visiting Air Force Station Jorhat, Assam to review the ongoing search and rescue operations for the missing aircraft.
The Siang district administration in Arunachal Pradesh has announced a cash award of ₹50,000 for anyone who can provide any clue or information about the missing IAF AN-32 aircraft.
Indian Air Force (IAF) is employing Aviation Research Centre’s Global 5000 surveillance aircraft and NTRO spy satellites along with other assets to locate the missing AN-32 plane in Arunachal Pradesh, said sources.
Local hunters’ team returns from Bayor Hill empty-handed, said sources. The hunters’ group, used to the hilly terrain, had gone to the ‘notorious mountain’ on Wednesday in search of a suspected crash site. As per sources, even helicopters struggle to cross that mountain whenever the weather is bad.
IAF suspends helicopter search and rescue operations for the day. However, efforts by ground teams and airborne sensors will continue through the night, tweets IAF:
A local hunters’ group has started the journey to Bayor Hill, the suspected crash site of the missing AN-32 aircraft. “We can only hope some news from them as they are used to the hilly tracks. However, the hunters will reach the site by tomorrow,” said sources in the Shi Yomi district administration. Bayor Hill is also known as the ‘Notorious mountain’. Helicopters always struggle to cross that mountain whenever the weather is bad.
Group Captain Anupam Banerjee told ANI that a P-8I aircraft of the Navy joined in the search operation. Army personnel are doing ground search joined in by ALH Helicopters. Local police and civil administrations are helping the Indian Air Force to locate the missing AN-32 aircraft.
Sources said that nobody from the team who left for the search and rescue operation has come back or is able to be contacted. The weather is still a problem. The search is as of now being conducted near Tato village in Shi Yomi district. The entire area is densely covered by forests.
Pakistani actress Veena Malik takes a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi while rescue ops for IAF AN-32 continue
Bad weather and rainfall are hampering the search and rescue operations which is still underway for the missing AN-32 aircraft. Helicopters and C130J unable to take off, as per sources. Since morning SU 30 is carrying out reconnaissance, however, as of now nothing could be spotted.
IAF has commenced extensive search and rescue operations, launched C-130J, AN-32, Mi-17 & ALH in association with the Indian Army. The aircraft are equipped with advanced sensors, the IAF tweeted.
Post sunset, search by helicopters has ceased for the day, tweeted the Indian Air Force. Search by sensors with night capability and the ground teams will continue throughout the night, it added.
Continuing with its extensive efforts to locate the mssing AN-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh, a P-8I of the Indian Navy, satellites like RISAT and aircraft equipped with multiple sensors have joined the operations, tweeted IAF.
Here’s the list of people who were on board the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft that went missing around Aalo in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday afternoon:
A day after an AN-32 aircraft went missing from near Aalo in Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi Yomi district, search operations have resumed to locate the ill-fated plane. Good news is that the weather is better now. Two Mi17s and one ALH have already been deployed with the ground party of the Indian Army and the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Search operations to continue through the night, says IAF
Amid several reports, IAF denies sighting wreckage of aircraft. Taking to Twitter, the IAF wrote:
Arunachal CM Pema Khandu took to Twitter to offer his prayers for the 13 people on board the ill-fated IAF AN-32 aircraft:
Mito Dirchi, DC of Shi-Yomi district, added: “The last location when the aircraft was in contact with air traffic was the Bille area. But it does not mean that it crashed there. It will be too early to say that the crash site has been located. As of now, we are not sure where the aircraft crashed.
Wreckage reportedly discovered by helicopter search team. Stay with EastMojo for more details.
West Siang district SP Jummar Basar has rushed to locate the spot where the AN-32 aircraft was last seen. Apparently, there is no mobile network connectivity in the region.
West Siang DC Swetika Sachan said that the missing plane was last seen near Tato Manigong in Shi Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh; anticipated crashed, she added.
This is not the first time an AN-32 aircraft has gone missing. The Russian-built AN-32, otherwise a reliable workhorse of the IAF, flies missions from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh and the Andamans. On July 22, 2016, an An-32 twin engine turboprop transport aircraft disappeared while flying over the Bay of Bengal. The aircraft was on its way from Tambaram Air Force station in Chennai on the western coastline of the Bay of Bengal to Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There were 29 people on board.
Interestingly, another AN-32 aircraft belonging to the Indian Air Force with 13 people on board had gone missing in Arunachal Pradesh on June 9 in 2009. The aircraft was feared to have crashed in the mountains. The aircraft was on its way to Jorhat in Assam from the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in West Siang, close to the China border.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh speaks to Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria over the missing IAF aircraft
Mechuka is a small town nestled 6,000 feet (1,829 m) above sea level in the Mechuka Valley in Shi Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh.
As per sources in Mechuka, the AN-32 aircraft was last “heard” between Tato village and Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground.
As per news reports, a Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft and C-130 Special Ops aircraft have been deployed to conduct a search mission for the ‘missing’ IAF aircraft.
The aircraft was flying to a landing strip near the China border. It had eight crew members and five passengers on board.
The plane got airborne from Jorhat at 12.25 pm on Monday. It was bound for Mechuka Advance Landing Ground. The aircraft last contacted ground agencies at 1 pm, when it was somewhere near Aalo, said defence sources. Thereafter, there has been no contact. It was to land at Menchuka at 1.15 pm.
An AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with 13 people on board has gone missing after taking off from Jorhat in Assam.