An AN-32 got airborne today from Jorhat at 1227 hrs for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground. The aircraft last contacted ground agencies at 1300 hrs (approx). Thereafter, there was no contact with the aircraft. Since the aircraft did not reach the destination, overdue actions were initiated by Indian Air Force. A total of eight aircrew and five passengers were onboard the aircraft. C-130, AN-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 of IAF and Indian Army ALH helicopters were launched to locate the missing aircraft. Some ground reports were received on possible location of a crash site. Helicopters were routed to the location, however, no wreckage has been sighted so far. IAF is coordinating with Indian Army as well as various government and civil agencies to locate the missing aircraft. The search operations from air and by ground parties of Indian Army are planned to continue through the night.
An official statement from IAF is yet to be released. Described as IAF’s workhorse, AN-32 has a maximum cruise speed of 530 km/hr and capacity of carrying 39 paratroopers and five crew members. It is a medium tactical transport aircraft of Russian origin with twin-engine turboprop.