New Delhi, June 6: Efforts to locate the AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force has been re-initiated, hours after the search operation was halted last night due to low visibility and rough weather. The IAF search team is acting on war-footing to locate the transporter, which had 13 serving personnel on board.
On Wednesday, the IAF pressed into service a SU-30 jet fighter, C130 J, Mi-17 and ALH helicopters to trace the missing Russian-origin transporter aircraft that was last seen on Monday afternoon. Missing IAF AN-32 Plane Had SOS Signal Unit That is Old and No Longer Produced
The searches were taking place along thickly forested routes between Assam's Jorhat and Mechuka advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites -- CARTOSAT and RISAT -- were also taking images of the area.
Update by IAF on Thursday:
#IAF has intensified efforts to locate the missing AN-32. Despite challenges posed by vegetation, inhospitable terrain & poor weather,the search has been expanded.All leads from airborne sensors are being closely assessed and followed-up with search by aircraft & ground teams 1/2
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 5, 2019
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal R.D. Mathur is monitoring the search and rescue operations. He had interacted with the families of the missing IAF personnel.
In addition, the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Arunachal Police and local communities were trekking on the ground to search for the missing aircraft.
"The search is still on but the missing AN-32 is yet to be sighted," IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh told IANS.
On Monday, the AN-32 transporter had taken off from Assam's Jorhat at 12.27 p.m. for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh's Shi-Yomi district bordering China. The aircraft lost contact with the ground staff at 1.30 p.m.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is constantly monitoring the situation, and has asked the IAF to remain in touch with the family members of those were onboard the missing aircraft.
(With IANS inputs)