New Delhi: Nearly 72 hours since the Indian Air Force (IAF) last contacted the ‘missing’ AN-32 aircraft, the forces on Thursday resumed their efforts to locate the aircraft that went missing on June 3 in Arunachal Pradesh.
The IAF tweeted saying that all leads from airborne sensors including the Indian Navy being are being closely assessed and followed up with search by aircraft and ground teams.
The IAF has been making extensive efforts to locate the aircraft, and during one such operation, a helicopter was severely damaged due to turbulent weather and heavy rains in the valley.
Operations were called off briefly owing to the challenges of weather. However, the officers in charge resuming search on Thursday said that the area of search has been expanded and more maneuverable helicopters like cheetah have been included in the rescue mission so as to approach areas that are inaccessible by bigger helicopters and individuals on foot.
The IAF deployed two SU-30s along with C-130J, Mi17s, ALHs equipped with advanced sensors to find the missing Antonov AN-32 aircraft. It also coordinated with the Indian Army and Indian Navy and expanded its search with ground teams and Navy’s Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i on Tuesday.
Moreover, the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) also launched satellites like RISAT to aid the search in the area.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met with the family members of Ashish Tanwar, the pilot of AN-32 aircraft that went missing three days ago in Arunachal Pradesh.
Despite constant hunt through day and night, all efforts have gone futile as the aircraft has not been discovered yet.
It was last contacted around 1 PM on Monday after it took off from Jorhat in Assam at 12:25 PM.