A transport plane of the Indian Air Force with 29 people on board went missing today while flying from Chennai to Port Blair.
One Coast Guard, 11 navy personnel, three Air Force pilots, and two pilots from the Andaman Command are among the missing 29 passengers.
The aircraft started from Chennai at 8:30 it was supposed to land at Port Blair at 11:30.
It took off at 0830 hours from Tambaram in Chennai and the last contact with it was made 16 minutes later. The aircraft can fly for up to four hours without refuelling.
“We will put all assets available with us in search operation for IAF aircraft AN-32,” said Wing Commander Anupam Banerjee
The last contact with Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft was at 8:46AM, flight level was at 23000ft, distance covered 1375KM
A massive search operation has been launched by the IAF, Navy and the Coast Guard, sources said As per the Defence Ministry officials, four ships Karmukh, Gharual, Jyoti and Kuthar have been diverted to join in the search and rescue at full speed apart from a Dornier aircraft and one P-8I.
Indian Navy‘s Public Relations officer said an overdue procedure has been issued and many assets will be added to support the SAR operation.
“Indian Navy has launched full scale search and rescue to look for the aircraft,” Said Captain D K Sharma, Navy PRO
The AN-32 aircraft is a twin-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It has excellent take-off characteristics in hot and high conditions. The An-32 is suitable for air-dropping cargo, passenger carrying, fire fighting, skydiving or para trooping roles.