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Search continues for missing IAF plane

Last contact with the aircraft was established roughly around 15-20 minutes after the take-off

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jul 23 2016 11:56AM | Updated Date: Jul 23 2016 11:56AM

Search continues for missing IAF plane

Demo photo

 

Search for the AN-32 aircraft with 29 people on board that went missing on Friday, continued on Saturday with no signs of any debris in the Bay of Bengal, said an official of Indian Air Force (IAF).

 
Those on board comprised six crew members, 15 personnel from the IAF, army, navy and Coast Guard, and eight civilians who were family members of the personnel.
 
Aircraft took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 a.m., and was expected to land at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands at 11.30 a.m., officials said, describing it as a "routine sortie".
 
According to a report submitted to Parrikar by Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, according to the recorded transcript of Chennai air traffic radar, last pickup was 151 nautical miles east of Chennai, when the aircraft was observed to have carried out a left turn with rapid loss of height from 23,000 feet.
 
A massive search and rescue operation involving aircraft, helicopters, ships and a submarine was launched immediately to find the plane that went missing around 300 km off Chennai, and will continue through the night.
 
The last contact with the aircraft was established roughly around 15-20 minutes after the take-off, sources said.
 
According to the IAF, the AN-32 is a twin engine turboprop, medium tactical transport aircraft of Russian origin. It can carry a maximum load of around 6.7 tonne or 39 paratroopers.
 
The aircraft's maximum cruise speed is 530 kmph.