When IAF-plane went missing, pilot's wife was on air-traffic duty
On Monday afternoon, IAF's AN-32 plane went missing, and more than three days later, there is still no sign of the aircraft. IAF, Army, Navy, and ISRO have joined hands for the search operation with officials staying optimistic. Naturally, with each passing hour, the wait is becoming more daunting. But for Sandhya Tanwar, the turn of events became extremely traumatic. Here's her story.
Sandhya is the wife of 29-year-old IAF pilot Ashish Tanwar, who is onboard the missing aircraft. They got married in February 2018. As luck would have been, on the fateful day, Sandhya was on Air Traffic Control duty when the aircraft took off from Assam's Jorhat airbase. Soon, the aircraft, bound for Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, lost touch and has been untraceable since.
Ashish's uncle, Udaivir Singh, told IE, Sandhya contacted them an hour after the flight went off the radar. Though Ashish belongs to Palwal, he traveled a lot due to his father Radhelal's job in the Army. Radhelal has five brothers and out of six siblings, five joined the Army. Since childhood, Ashish was smitten by the Army. His elder sister is a Squadron leader.
Ashish studied in several Kendriya Vidyalaya schools before completing his B.Tech. He also worked at an MNC in Gurgaon for some two to three months, he joined IAF in 2013. "He was clear that he wanted to serve the nation, but he had completed his B.Tech and started working because that was his back-up option," his uncle Shiv Narain told the daily.
Ashish completed his training in 2015 and went to Jorhat. Sandhya, who belongs to Mathura, joined him last year. Their marriage was arranged. Narain said the couple came to Palwal on May 2 and left on May 18. They went to Bangkok for a holiday before joining their respective duties on May 26. No one imagined something like this would happen, said Narain.
Udaivir Singh said initially the family was hoping that the aircraft went to China and made an emergency landing there. But if that had been the case, those onboard (there are 13 people in the aircraft) would have contacted families, he pointed out. While Radhelal has gone to Assam, Ashish's mother is at home. "She is absolutely shattered," Singh revealed.
Palwal: Family of Ashish Tanwar, who was in IAF AN-32 aircraft that went missing on June 3 seeks govt help to trace their son. Mother says,"I want my child. It's been almost 4 days now but till now nothing has happened. I request MHA to look into the matterinvestigate." #Haryana pic.twitter.com/yiLuULHwUt— ANI (@ANI) June 6, 2019
While the country is praying for the safe return of those onboard, the search operation is turning out to be a dud. Su-30, C-130J, and other assets will be deployed again to find the plane. Reportedly, rescuers didn't receive any message from the SOS signal installed in the aircraft, which hints that the beacon might not be functional.