New Delhi [India], Jun 9: Airborne search operations to locate the missing AN-32 transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force could not be carried out on Sunday due to bad weather conditions. Helicopters, UAVs and C-130J aircraft took off for the mission but landed back due to rains and bad weather. Government, Defence Forces Working Tirelessly to Locate Missing AN-32 Aircraft: VK Singh.
However, the search operations by ground parties are on, a Defence spokesperson said. The operations, which have been severely hampered by weather conditions, entered the seventh day on Sunday. On two days, the operations by choppers had to be called off due to low light.
On Saturday, the IAF had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to any person or group providing "credible information" about the missing plane. Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa had visited the Jorhat Air Force station to review the ongoing operations. He met the families of the missing air-warriors and assured them that all possible steps will be taken to locate the missing plane and personnel.
The AN-32 aircraft with 13 personnel onboard went missing on Monday afternoon after getting airborne from Jorhat. The aircraft was headed toward Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh when it lost contact with ground authorities at 1300 hours. Missing IAF AN-32 Aircraft- Know All About This Ageing Transport Plane.
A massive search operation was launched by the IAF to locate the missing aircraft. Su-30 MKI, C-130 J special operations aircraft, UAVs, several choppers, Indian Navy's P-8I plane, Global 5000 surveillance aircraft of ARC and satellites of ISRO and NTRO were deployed to find the plane.