IAF’s AN-32 transport aircraft which had lost contact from the military radars on 3rd June, has finally been found in parts of Arunachal Pradesh where military search operations were largely confined. Since evening of 3rd, several search helicopters and aircrafts were deployed in order to re-locate the craft.
The information came to public by an official IAF’s Twitter handle, “The wreckage of the missing #An32 was spotted today 16 Kms North of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft by the #IAF Mi-17 Helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone.” followed by a second tweet “efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants & establish survivors“.
IAF’s AN-32 took off on 3rd June from Assam’s Jorhat airport to Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh, carrying 5 army personnels and 8 cabin crew onboard. Plane’s transponder (device that picks up and automatically responds to an incoming signal, helps in keeping a track of planes location) went off due to the crash that has now been confirmed, somewhere in hilly terrain of the Northeast region causing complete loss of any connection with the ground ATC.
In the nation’s efforts to find what happened with the 15 Indians onboard, IAF deployed Sukhoi-30MKI fighter aircrafts along with C-130J, more AN-32 planes along with MI-17 and ALH helicopters. It took almost a week to find AN-32 wreckage due to difficult terrain and bad weather in the northeast region.
Antonov-32’s were first inducted to the air force in 1980’s, since then the transport aircraft has helped in various rescue missions and ferrying people and army personals. A similar incidence like the disappearance of Malaysian MH370, was happened with the very same AN-32 in 2016. When the plane was flying over the bay of Bengal carrying 29 people went missing, despite attempts, it could’t be relocated or found. Indian Government then called off the search operations presuming all 29 dead.
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