Indian Air Force An-32 transport aircraft with 13 onboard goes missing near China border

An Indian Air Force transport aircraft has gone missing after taking off from an airbase in Assam.

The aircraft is carrying 13 people on board, eight crew members and five passengers. It took off from Assam’s Jorhat at 12:25 pm for a landing strip in Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh. The Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is located near the China border.

The last contact with the aircraft, which is Antonov An-32 military transport aircraft was around 1:00 pm today. The Indian Air Force have deployed all available resources including Sukhoi-30 and C-130 to locate the missing aircraft.

The Antonov An-32 is a Russian aircraft, and it was ordered by India due to good relations between then USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev and then India leader Indira Gandhi. The An-32 is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions, the high placement of the engine nacelles above the wing allowed for larger diameter propellers providing more power.

India bought 125 aircraft, of which 105 are still in service. Entire fleet is undergoing modernization. The upgrades include modern avionics equipment, new oxygen systems and improved crew seats.

This is believed to be one of India’s safest military aircrafts, having just four accidents in over 35 years.

The most recent an Indian Air Force An-32 transport aircraft disappeared over the Bay of Bengal with 29 people onboard in July 2016. The plane had taken off from an airbase in Chennai and was headed to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Following the disappearance, the Indian Air Force launched search operation for the missing plane over the sea. However, the aircraft was never found and search operations were called off in September 2016. The plane was presumed to have crashed and all the people onboard were presumed dead.

Source : Various