IAF AN-32 missing HIGHLIGHTS: Aerial search operation could not be undertaken on Saturday to trace the missing transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force in remote Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh due to poor weather conditions, even as ground troops continued combing the mountainous area for the sixth consecutive day.
Meanwhile, the IAF has announced a cash award of Rs 5 Lakhs for the person(s) or group who provide credible information leading to the finding of the aircraft. IAF Chief BS Dhanoa also visited Air Force Station Jorhat in Assam Friday to review the ongoing search and rescue operations for the missing aircraft.
Over five days after the Anton, AN-32, aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) lost contact with ground stations, it is yet to be traced as a massive search and rescue operation is being conducted daily between Jorhat in Assam and Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh. With an intensified search, the IAF has deployed additional assets in the mission roping in local civic and police agencies.
Search for the missing IAF AN-32 aircraft continues as Army, Navy join forces. Follow HIGHLIGHTS
BS Dhanoa reviewed overall search operation: IAF
Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa reviewed the overall search operation at a high-level meeting in Assam's Jorhat airbase from where the AN-32 aircraft, with 13 people on board, had taken off for Mechuka advanced landing ground on Monday, according to IAF officials.
"Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa was given a detailed briefing about the operations and was apprised with the inputs received so far. He interacted with families of the officers and airmen who were onboard the aircraft," an IAF spokesperson was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Aerial search stalled on 6th day due to bad weather
Aerial search operation could not be undertaken on Saturday to trace the missing transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force in remote Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh due to poor weather conditions, even as ground troops continued combing the mountainous area for the sixth consecutive day, news agency PTI.
IAF announces Rs 5 lakh award for information
The IAF has announced a cash award of Rs 5 Lakhs for the person(s) or group who provides credible information leading to the finding of the aircraft.
Finder may contact Air Force on the following numbers:
Mobile: 9436499477 / 9402077267 / 9402132477
IAF Chief BS Dhanoa to visit Assam
IAF Chief BS Dhanoa will be visiting Air Force Station Jorhat in Assam to review the ongoing search and rescue operations for the missing aircraft, news agency ANI reported.
Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa is visiting Air Force Station Jorhat in Assam to review the ongoing search and rescue operations for the missing AN-32 transport aircraft with 13 personnel on board. (file pic) pic.twitter.com/ujNcuNVTSp— ANI (@ANI) June 8, 2019
Families of personnel onboard meet Rajnath Singh
The IAF said in a statement that some family members of those on board the missing aircraft met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday, where they were briefed about the search efforts. The IAF has also been in touch with separately, it added.
125 hours and counting, An-32 still missing
For more than 125 hours, the Air Force and Navy have scoured the hills and forests of Arunachal Pradesh. They have been aided by the Army, local police, state government, paramilitary forces and the local population but since the An-32 transport aircraft went missing Monday, search teams are yet to find clues. According to IAF officials involved in the search and rescue mission, the inaccessible hilly terrain of the area which is sparsely populated along with the bad weather prevalent this week has made the search very difficult.
'Committed to finding missing Air-warriors'
Search and Rescue mission continued through the night, however, no trace of the aircraft has been found yet. The IAF has said that it is committed the finding the missing personnel. 13 personnel of the IAF were onboard the AN-32 when it lost contacts with the ground stations.
Search will continue throughout the night by airborne sensors and ground teams. #IAF is committed in finding the missing air-warriors. 3/3— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 7, 2019
Ground teams of Indian Army and ITBP along with locals and district officials searching areas around Siang district
Ground teams of Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police along with locals and district administration officials are searching areas around Siang district, official sources said. The search operation encompasses an area of about 2,500 square km which falls under Kaying and Payum circle of Siang district.
IAF keeping in touch with families of missing air warriors
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.
Indian Army, Police, State Government, Paramilitary forces, local population lending crucial support in search operations
Indian Army, Police, State Government, Paramilitary forces and local population are lending crucial support in 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.
The search area continues to expand to look at all possibilities
P-8I of Indian Navy undertook a search mission from Arakonnam this 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.
SAR by helicopters is called off for today
SAR by helicopters is called off for today, due low lights. Will resume tommorow morning. No sighting of missing aircraft as yet.
Arunachal villagers had seen smoke in mountain
Residents of an Arunachal Pradesh village had on Thursday said they had seen thick black smoke billowing from a mountain on Monday, the day the Indian Air Force aircraft carrying 13 people went missing, prompting authorities to verify the claim. Three people from Tumbin village said that on Monday afternoon they had seen thick black smoke originating from a mountain towards Molo village in Siang district. “This is being verified,” Director General of Police S B K Sing informed the CMO, reported news agency PTI.
Rajnath Singh briefed on search operation
Indian Air Force using Aviation Research Centre’s Global 5000 surveillance aircraft and NTRO spy satellites along with other assets to locate the missing AN-32 aircraft. With their specialist sensors, they can help in getting better imagery on the ground. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh being regularly updated about the search and rescue operations. Minister has instructed to use all possible resources to locate the plane and its occupants.
Just In | Search ops by Helicopters resumed
IAF resumed search operations by helicopter which was delayed due to bad weather conditions and incessant rains.
SAR by helicopter delayed due to bad weather
The weather has posed a continuous challenge in the ongoing Search and Rescue (SAR) mission of the missing AN-32 aircraft. Bad weather has once again delayed the helicopter search operations. Meanwhile, Navy's P8i is airborne looking for radar signatures. Search parties have set out on foot in likely directions to locate the aircraft and its occupants.
Anton AN-32, an extensive used aircraft by IAF
Antonov An-32 is a tactical transport aircraft used by the Indian Air Force and have been in service since 1984. An-32 has been a trustworthy workhorse for the IAF for many years and is designed to be extensively used. The service ceiling of this turboprop aircraft is 31,000 ft, which means that it flies lower than most commercial jetliners (which have a service ceiling of 40,000 ft) and also flies slower with a cruising speed of 470 kmph. This gives lesser room for the An-32 to outrun bad weather or climb over it.
Family of late officer questions IAF’s ageing fleet
62-year-old Rajendra Barpatte, father of Flight Lieutenant Kunal Barpatte, says that he has still not received satisfactory answers to the many questions he had about the mishap and the ageing fleet of Russia-made planes, which were inducted in the Air Force in the 1980s. Flight Lieutenant Kunal, whose family is from Nigdi in Pimpri Chinchwad area, was a navigating officer with the 33 Squadron of the IAF, a transport squadron under the Southern Air Command, who was among the 29 people on board an AN-32 aircraft that went missing over the Bay of Bengal in July 2016. For the family members of Flight Lieutenant Kunal, the search for IAF’s AN-32 aircraft has once again raised some pertinent questions which have remained unanswered for three years.
Indian Navy, Indian Army, ISRO join search operation
A day after the AN-32 aircraft with 13 people onboard went missing and no wreckage could be traced, the Indian Navy, Indian Army, and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) joined the Indian Air Force to search for the missing plane. The Indian Navy is using the P8i aircraft, which has a very powerful Synthetic Aperture Radar, in the search and rescue operations. Indian Navy’s satellites like RISAT, and aircraft equipped with multiple sensors also joined in the operations. ISRO deployed two of its satellites – CARTOSAT and RISAT – to capture images of the area.
Group Captain Anupam Banerjee said, “ISRO satellites are also being used for photographing this area which will be analysed & used for further search operation. Next of kin of all the missing personnel have been informed about the search effort. We are in constant touch with them.It’s a little difficult terrain to carry out search op because there’s thick vegetation. It is a difficult op however we are using all our means, the electronic means, the electro-optical means. After analysing this we will do the visual lookout. Today P-8I aircraft of Navy also joined in search op. Army personnel are doing ground search&joined in with ALH Helicopter. Navy joined at P-8I. Local police&admn are helping Air Force to locate the aircraft.”
No Signs of Wreckage yet
IAF sources said that no signs of wreckage could be located so far in the search operations. Air Force had deployed a package of Sukho, Mi-17 helicopters, C-130, along with ground patrols so far to assist with the search and rescue operations in the north-east region. IAF PRO Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said, “Some ground reports were received on the possible location of a crash site. Helicopters were routed to the location. However, no wreckage has been sighted so far.”
'IAF committed to continued efforts to locate the aircraft'
IAF has further intensified & expanded the search for the missing An32. Fighter aircraft, C130, Helicopters, aircraft carrying specialised sensors, satellites & all possible civil, police & local administrative agencies have further expanded search based on human & sensor inputs. IAF has flown more than 100 hours in search operations. Weather continues to pose a challenge, however, IAF remains committed to continued efforts to locate the aircraft and it's brave air warriors.
Weather continues to pose a challenge, however IAF remains committed to continued efforts to locate the aircraft and it's brave air warriors. IAF has flown more than 100 hours in search operations. 4/4— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 6, 2019
Navy's Long Range Maritime Reconnaisance aircraft P8i deployed
Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i airborne from INS Rajali, Arakonam, Tamil Nadu for the ongoing SAR for missing IAF_MCC
#AN32 reached in area 0800h. It will carry out EO/IR runs & Radar search.
#IndianNavy Long Range Maritime Reconnaisance aircraft P8i airborne from INS Rajali, Arakonam, Tamil Nadu for the ongoing #SAR for missing @IAF_MCC #AN32 reached in area 0800h. Shall carry out EO/IR runs & Radar search @rajnathsingh @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/DW0wZTiMxI— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) June 7, 2019
Welcome to The Indian Express LIVE Blog
Welcome to The Indian Express LIVE blog as we continue tracking the Search and rescue operations of the missing IAF AN-32 aircraft with 13 onboard.