IAF finds parts of missing AN-32 aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh
More than a week after its AN-32 aircraft went missing, the Indian Air Force made some headway in the search operation. On Tuesday, IAF confirmed that it found the wreckage of the missing aircraft some 16 km north of Lipo, Arunachal Pradesh. The aircraft, which went missing on June 3, was traced by IAF's Mi-17 helicopter deployed in the operation. Here are the details.
Backstory: Aircraft, which was carrying 13 people, went missing
The aircraft had 13 people on board, including 8 crew members and 5 passengers. The plane took off from Jorhat, Assam, and was bound for Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, before losing contact. While IAF looked for the aircraft through aerial route, soldiers of the Indian Army walked on foot through dense forests. The Indian Navy, ISRO, and ITBP forces also helped in the search.
IAF sent two Mi-17s to look for the aircraft
As families of those onboard sought answers, IAF deployed more resources. Two Mi-17s and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), the P-8I, which is a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, joined the search. The mountainous terrain aggravated problems. Notably, the aircraft's Search and Rescue Beacon had not been produced in the last 14 years, and no one received any distress signal, whatsoever.
IAF also announced a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh
On Saturday, IAF announced a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh for information on the fateful aircraft. "While the search for the missing aircraft is on, Air Marshal RD Mathur, AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command, has announced a cash award of Rs. 5 Lakh for the person(s) or group who provide credible information leading to the finding of the aircraft," IAF's statement read.
Here is what IAF said about the new development
AN-32s became a part of IAF in 1984
AN-32, which is a Soviet-designed aircraft, was inducted in IAF in 1984. It has been serving the force for almost four decades but it has a shady past. In 2009, an AN-32 went missing after taking off from Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh. It crashed later. Before that, an AN-32 aircraft, carrying 22 people on board, crashed in New Delhi in March 1999.Share this timeline