Wreckage of missing An-32 aircraft located
11 June 2019
The wreckage of the An-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force went missing on 3 June was spotted today 16 km north of Lipo, North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 ft.
The wreckage was located by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone.
The AN-32 aircraft departed at 12.25 pm on 3 June from Jorhat in Assam for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. However, the aircraft did not reach its destination. It had last contacted ground sources at 1 pm. There were eight crew members and five passengers on board.
Efforts are now continuing on to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors. Further details will be communicated as the recovery actions progress, a defence ministry release said.
The IAF had initiated a massive search for the aircraft and resources from various agencies, including Isro, were brought into the operation to enhance its effectiveness. However, bad weather over the past week had affected the search operation, with the IAF stating on 8 June that the area of the search is mountainous and heavily forested with thick undergrowth. The weather had also been inclement with low clouds and rain during most hours and combined with the inhospitable terrain, it posed serious challenges to the aerial search operation.
The IAF had deployed Indian Navy’s P8i aircraft, IAF’s C-130 aircraft, Mi-17 helicopters, Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) as well as Cheetah helicopters to conduct the aerial search operations. In addition to these, Indian Army’s ALH helicopters were also deployed. The IAF had tweeted that around 150 such aircraft and helicopters were engaged in the operation to locate the missing AN-32.
The IAF had also stated that in addition with the aerial search, searches by ground teams of the Indian Army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP), the state police as well as members of the local population were also carried out.