An Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft has gone missing today morning. It is reported that there were 29 persons onboard, and the search for the plane are going on.
According to the Indian Navy, a full scale search and rescue operation has been launched to search the aircraft in Bay of Bengal. One P8I and a Dornier have been launched. Four ships Karmukh, Gharial, Jyoti & Kuthar have been diverted to join in Search and Rescue (SAR) operation. More assets are being dispatched, the Navy said.
Together the IAF, Navy and Coast Guard have deployed five aircraft and 13 ships to track the plane. IAF has pressed into service a C130 plane along with two AN32.
The 29 people on board the Air Force’s workhorse for a long period included two pilots, a navigator besides personnel from the Navy and the Army. Defence sources said the plane was at about 23,000 feet when the last contact was established.
The AN-32 aircraft 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.
The aircraft was reportedly on a routine weekly flight for Air Force personnel.
More details on the same are awaited.