THE AN-32 aircraft which went missing on Thursday had reported three technical snags within a period of less than two weeks this month.
On July 2, the throttle movement of the aircraft was reported as sluggish. On July 7, a hydraulic leak was reported from the port wing root. And on July 14, another snag pertaining to a pressure leak from the port door was reported.
The Indian Express has learnt that the aircraft was last overhauled at 1 Base Repair Depot (BRD) in Kanpur in September last year, and had completed 279 flying hours since then.
The AN-32, with the call sign AF 330, was part of 33 Squadron which is based in Sulur.
AN-32s were inducted into the Indian Air Force from the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1984, and 101 aircraft are currently in service. Mid-life extension and upgradation of the fleet started in 2010, and 40 upgraded aircraft arrived from Kiev from 2011 to 2015.
The last crash of an AN-32, the workhorse of the IAF, was reported in 2009 in Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, where 13 people died. Before that, an AN-32 aircraft had crashed in Delhi in 1999, killing 21 people.
WATCH VIDEO: Indian Air Force’s An-32 Plane Goes Missing
An-32s were inducted in the IAF in 1984 and as of now 101 aircraft are in service. Mid life extension and upgradation of the fleet started in 2010 and 40 upgraded aircraft arrived from Kiev in Ukraine between 2011 and 2015. Ten aircraft were also upgraded at 1 BRD in Kanpur.