Wreckage of missing Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft found in Arunachal Pradesh after 8 days

The wreckage of an An-32 aircraft that went missing with 13 on board last week was found in Arunachal Pradesh Tuesday, after eight days of intense search by the Indian Air Force.

The first image of the crash site, taken directly from above shows debris from the aircraft and charred trees, indicating a big fire when the plane would have gone down.

The wreckage was found in Payum Circle of Siang district. It was spotted by a Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force, at a height of around 12,000 feet.

Due to high elevation and dense forest, helicopters could not land next to the crash site. However, the nearest landing site has been identified and the rescue operation by helicopters will begin early Wednesday morning. Ground forces will try to reach the crash site during the night.

The plane was traveling from Jorhat in Assam to a remote military landing strip in Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh when it vanished from the radar around 1 pm on the 3rd of June.

IAF C-130J transport aircraft, Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, NAVY P8-I search aircraft, Army helicopters, ISRO satellites, drones and a fleet of the Indian Air Force had been searching for the aircraft.

The search was difficult because of the tough terrain and bad weather. The spot where the plane had been flying is mountainous and heavily forested, and landing and take-off for transport helicopters is tricky.

The plane’s Search and Rescue Beacon had not been in production for 14 years, and no signal had been detected. If the beacons were fixed  Cospas-Sarsat, an international satellite could have aided the search and rescue sooner.

The An-32 is a Soviet-designed twin engine turboprop transport aircraft used extensively by the Indian Air Force for over four decades. India has over 105 such jets, which procured during Indira Gandhi’s government. It’s used to ferry people and air-drop supplies.

Source : Various