IAF AN-32 Aircraft Search Operation Halted For Day Due to Bad Light and Weather, Inhospitable Terrain Main Hurdle Ahead of Rescue Teams
IAF AN-32. (Photo Credit: PTI)

New Delhi/Guwahati: It's been more two days now that Indian Air Force's Antonov An-32 Aircraft has gone missing in the densely-forested hilly terrain of Arunachal Pradesh and forces are struggling to sight the wreckage of the medium transport vehicle. On Wednesday too, helicopters deployed in search operations couldn't trace the wreckage of the IAF's flight and the operation has been called off for the day.

With tough vegetation, inhospitable terrain and poor weather, the search operation for the decades-old unmodified plane is becoming more difficult for the forces to track. Due to these obstacles, the search operation has been called off for the day and would resume only tomorrow morning. However, IAF officials stated that two SUs and C-130Js will be carrying out night missions to locate the missing aircraft. Missing IAF AN-32 Plane Had SOS Signal Unit That is Old and No Longer Produced

Earlier, in the day the IAF officials had stated that the combined operation by IAF and Indian Army helicopters was adversely affected by the weather. Though the Indian Army, Indian Navy, Police and State Administration supported the search efforts, the wreckage couldn't be traced. Currently, the airborne sensors are being closely assessed and ground teams are working in action to trace the missing aircraft.

According to the IAF, the delay in search operation is taking place as the search and rescue beacon (device designed to attract attention to a specific location), installed on board the missing plane is old and has not been in production for 14 years. Apart from this, the rescuers are not able to pick up signals from the emergency locator beacon fitted in the cargo compartment of the aircraft.

To trace the wreckage of AN-32 aircraft, C-130 Super Hercules helicopters were deployed, but of no use as synthetic aperture radars were not of much help. Indian Navy's Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites have been pressed into service to locate the plane but to no avail. IAF Missing AN-32 Aircraft Still Untraceable, No Wreckage Sighted So Far. 

It is to be known that on June 3, AN-32, with 13 onboard, stopped communicating with ground controllers at 1 pm. The aircraft had 13 persons on board, including six officers and seven others. The Russian-origin An-32 transporter took off from Assam's Jorhat at 12.27 pm for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh's Shi-Yomi district bordering China.