A massive day-night search for a transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force, which went missing two days ago, continued on Wednesday despite inclement weather conditions in mountainous Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district. With 13 persons onboard, the aircraft lost contact while flying over Arunachal Pradesh. It was carrying eight crew members and five armed forces personnel. The aircraft took off at 12.25 PM and lost contact at around 1 PM with the ground station. It was scheduled to arrive at the Mechuka Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh at 1.30 PM.
Indian Navy aircraft Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites have joined the search to locate the aircraft. CARTOSAT and RISAT satellites of ISRO are being used to capture images of the area.
The Navy aircraft is carrying out the search with Electro-Optical and Infra-Red (EO & IR) sensors in thickly forested areas between Jorhat and Mechuka, where the AN-32 went missing. “It’s a little difficult terrain to carry out search op because there’s thick vegetation, however, we are using all our means, the electronic means, the electro-optical means,” IAF spokesperson Anupam Banerjee said on Tuesday.
The IAF has initiated an overdue action and employed all its resources to locate the aircraft. A Sukhoi-30MKI, C-130 Special Operations aircraft were deployed on a search mission.