Indian Air Force (IAF) AN-32 Aircraft with 13 people on board, including eight crew members and five passengers, went missing after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat airbase earlier today.
The aircraft was heading to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. The Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is located near the China border.
The aircraft has contacted the ground sources at 1 PM today after taking off from the Jorhat airbase at 12:25 pm. The IAF has launched Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft and C-130 Special Operations aircraft on a search mission to locate the AN-32.
Sources informed that “An AN-32 aircraft of IAF got airborne today from Jorhat at 1225 hrs for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground. The aircraft last contacted ground agencies at 1300 hrs, thereafter there has been no contact. Since the aircraft did not reach the airfield, overdue action was initiated by IAF.”
The Air Force has employed all available resources to locate the aircraft. Radar pictures are being studied and the helicopters have been put into action, the sources added.
Earlier in July 2016, another AN-32 had gone down into the Bay of Bengal with its 29 passengers onboard. It was going from Chennai to Port Blair. Russian manufactured AN-32s were inducted in early 80s and around 100 are serving with the Air Force.