IAF presses reconnaissance aircraft into service to locate missing AN-32 transport plane

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has said it has intensified the search operation to trace the AN-32 aircraft that went missing in Arunachal Pradesh after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat. The IAF has roped in the local civic and police agencies in its effort.

Two Cheetah helicopters will also join the search operations on Friday, the sources said.

However, rescuers have not received any signal from emergency locator beacon in the missing plane.

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On Day 5, the IAF has deployed a Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8I airborne from INS Rajali, Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu for the ongoing search operations for the missing AN-32 aircraft. It will carry out a search using its special radars and sensors for locating the plane.

“The IAF has further intensified and expanded search for the missing AN-32. Fighter aircraft, C130, helicopters, aircraft carrying specialised sensors, satellites and all possible civil, police and local administrative agencies have further expanded search based on human and sensor inputs,” the Air Force said in a statement.

The Russian-made aircraft took off from Jorhat at 12.27 pm on Monday for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground. Its last contact with the ground control was at 1 pm.

A total of eight aircrews and five passengers were on board the aircraft.

However, the search-and-rescue operation has met with little success so far due to the difficult terrain and rough weather.