Wreckage of missing An-32 plane located by IAF helicopter

The An-32 transport aircraft went missing with 13 personnel over Arunachal Pradesh on June 3.

The wreckage of the Indian Air Force (IAF) An-32 transport aircraft that went missing with 13 personnel over Arunachal Pradesh on June 3 was located on Tuesday. 

“The wreckage of the aircraft was spotted today 16 km north of Lipo, northeast of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 feet by an IAF Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone,” the IAF said in a statement.

Efforts were on to establish the status of the occupants, the IAF stated.

The An-32 got airborne from Jorhat in Assam at 12.27 p.m. on June 3 for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh but lost contact around 1.00 p.m.

Several aircraft, helicopters and ground teams were deployed in the deployed for Search And Rescue (SAR) mission. However, the terrain posed the biggest challenge, something that is is common across the Northeast with its dense forests and the high altitude. Unpredictable weather and rains further hampered the SAR operations; they affect flight movement and dampen the infrared (IR) signatures.

The An-32s are the workhorse of the IAF, with about 100 of them in service. They are four decades old but are rugged and dependable, according to officers. A major upgrade process to extend their service life is on now. The aircraft that went down was not an upgraded one. 

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