Due to inclement weather, the Indian Air Force (IAF) Saturday was forced to delay its efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of 13 killed in the An-32 crash on June 3. Cheetah and ALH Helicopters are on standby to commence operations once the weather improves, the IAF said in a statement.
“IAF personnel are in constant contact with the families of these air-warriors and are being updated regularly about the ongoing rescue operations. They are also being explained the challenges about the weather,” it said.
IAF chief B S Dhanoa said that they will ascertain the cause of the recent crash of AN-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh and ensure such accidents do not recur.
“We have recovered the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder…We will go into the detail (to ascertain) as to what happened and how do we make sure that it does not happen again,” Dhanoa told reporters in Hyderabad.
Search teams recovered the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) of the An-32 aircraft on Friday.
The wreckage of An-32 lies 16 kilometers north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh as at approximate elevation of 12,000 ft. It was discovered last Tuesday by the IAF Mi-17 Helicopter.
Cheetah & ALH Helicopters are on standby and are waiting to commence operations once the weather improves. At present there are low clouds associated with rain in the area. #IAF in making all efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the deceased air-warriors. (2/3)
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 15, 2019
A day after the wreckage was spotted, a team of 15 mountaineers were air dropped to the nearest possible location of the crash site. Since then, inclement weather has been hampering operations.
“The mortal remains and other material evidence have to be picked up by helicopters and brought back to Jorhat in stages. The weather continues to be marginal and is likely to affect the pace of recovery operations. The recovery team is braving the treacherous terrain and inclement weather in order to bring back the mortal remains as soon as possible,” IAF PRO Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said in a statement Friday.