The search for the missing Indian Air Force An-32 continued unabated today. On 3rd June, the aircraft had got airborne from IAF's Jorhat Airbase in Assam for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Indian Air Force launched a massive search operation to trace the whereabouts of the aircraft soon after it was established that it did not reach its destination within the stipulated time.
Resources from various agencies, including ISRO were brought into the operation to enhance its effectiveness. The area of search is mountainous and heavily forested with thick undergrowth. The weather in the area has been inclement with low clouds and rain during most hours. Combined with the inhospitable terrain, the weather has posed serious challenges to aerial search operations.
Search efforts by ground teams of Indian Army, ITBP, State Police and members of local population has continued in full force today. However, aerial search could not be undertaken due to poor weather conditions prevailing throughout the day. Indian Air Force has increased the deployment of its helicopters and transport aircraft and has expanded the search area significantly since the beginning of the operations. More and more area is being covered by airborne sensors and satellites and the imaging is being followed-up by close analysis of the data for its synergistic amalgamation in the search operations.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa visited Air Force Station Jorhat today to assess the ongoing search operations. He was given a detailed briefing about the operations and was apprised with the inputs received so far. He interacted with families of the officers and airmen who were onboard the aircraft.