IAF AN-32 Goes Missing With 29 People On Board
Indian Air Force AN-32 plane has gone missing today morning in the Bay of Bengal while flying from Chennai to Port Blair with 29 people on board.
A massive search operations has been launched by the air force, Navy, and Coast Guard in the Bay of Bengal. The plane was carrying six crew members which includes three officers, one technician, two airmen, 11 Air Force personnel, nine Navy personnel of which eight are family members, one personnel below officer rank, and two other rank personnel. The plane took off from Tambaram air base near Chennai around 8:30am and went missing at around 8:46 am, the time of plane’s last known contact. It went off the radar after 40 minutes into the flight.
“An IAF AN-32 aircraft travelling from Chennai to Port Blair on a courier flight with service personnel was scheduled to arrive at Port Blair at 11:30am and is overdue,” said Navy spokesperson, DK Sharma.
The Air Force has deployed three aircraft and four ships while the Navy has pressed 12 ships named Sahyadri, Ranvijay, Rajput, Kirch, INS Karmukh, Kamorta, Kuthar, Kora, Kuthar, Shakti, Sukanya, Jyoti, Ghariyal along with two P-81 long range patrol aircraft and two Dornier aircraft. The Indian Navy has also diverted one of its Submarine to Bay Of Bengal for locating transmissions from the emergency locator beacon onboard the plane. The Coast Guard has also pressed its ship CGS Sagar and one Dornier aircraft.
The plane was taking mostly military personnel to Port Blair, capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands. AN-32 was scheduled to land at Port Blair at around 11:20am.
AN-32 can fly up to four hours without refueling. It can fly at a top speed of 530 km per hour. Currently there are more than 100 Russian-made AN-32 in service. Antonov-32 or AN-32 is a twin-engined turboprop military aircraft.