Missing IAF AN-32 : 29 on board persons presumed dead

On July 22, IAF’s AN-32 plane went missing in Bay of Bengal and still there have been no sign of any debris. Now all 29 persons on board have been presumed dead and the families have also been informed regarding the same.

“The Court of Inquiry, upon very careful scrutiny of the circumstantial evidence available and in light of extensive search and rescue operations carried out, has concluded that it is unlikely that the missing personnel on board the ill-fated aircraft would have survived the accident.  It is with a feeling of profound sadness that the Court of Inquiry has recommended that your son/daughter be presumed to have been fatally injured,” read the letter sent to families by Indian Air Force (IAF).

The plane was travelling from Chennai to Port Blair having 29 people on board. A massive search operation by Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Coast Guards took place deploying 23 Aircrafts, 17 Ships and even a Submarine but they found no trace of missing aircraft. However, the search operation is still in progress.

AN-32 plane disappeared about 300km off the coast of Chennai. The plane took off at 8:30 on July 22 morning and went missing after 16 minutes i.e. at 8:46am, the last known contact with the aircraft after the take-off.

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 Antonov AN-32 is a Russian-origin aircraft known for its take-off characteristics. It can land on small airstrips. AN-32 is mostly used as the medium of transportation. It’s a twin-engine aircraft which is primarily used for transporting whether it is cargo or passengers. It can also be used during wars and for rescue purposes. 125 AN-32 was imported in 1984 but at present IAF has over 100 AN-32s in service.

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