IAF officials said ISRO's Cartosat and RISAT satellites are taking images of the area around Menchuka to help the rescuers find the plane. (Indian Navy/Twitter)
The Indian Navy sent its P8I surveillance aircraft to join the mega search of the Indian Air Force’s AN-32 plane in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday. The Navy took to Twitter to inform about this crucial update. “#IndianNavy Long Range Maritime Reconnaisance aircraft P8i airborne from INS Rajali, Arakonam, Tamil Nadu for the ongoing #SAR for missing @IAF_MCC #AN32 reached in area 0800h. Shall carry out EO/IR runs & Radar search @rajnathsingh @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @PMOIndia (sic),” the Navy’s tweet read. The surveillance aircraft joins ISRO’s satellites and Indian Army’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to trace the missing transport aircraft of Russian make.
#IndianNavy Long Range Maritime Reconnaisance aircraft P8i airborne from INS Rajali, Arakonam, Tamil Nadu for the ongoing #SAR for missing @IAF_MCC #AN32 reached in area 0800h. Shall carry out EO/IR runs & Radar search @rajnathsingh @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/DW0wZTiMxI— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) June 7, 2019
There is still no trace of the AN-32 transport plane that went missing near the thickly-forested Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Russian-origin transport aircraft, with 13 people on board, went missing on Monday afternoon, around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka, near the border with China.
The IAF has been regularly updating the families of all air-warriors on board the aircraft about the rescue operation. Military sources said rescuers have not received any signal from the emergency locator beacon in the missing plane, adding there is a possibility that the device may not have been functional.
They said the plane that went missing is yet to be upgraded with latest avionics and radars, though some of the AN-32 were strengthened with advanced systems.
As the mega search operation enters fourth day, the stories of despair and dilemma of IAF families are coming in media. In Punjab’s Patiala, another family is frantically looking for updates of the missing plane. The younger son of the house, Flight Lieutenant Mohit Garg was on the same plane that went missing four days ago.