On July 22, 2016, an Indian Airforce AN-32 craft went missing with 29 people on board including 6 crew members. The plane took off from Chennai at 8:30 am in the morning and was heading towards Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. But the plane lost signal just after 8:46 am, i.e., right after 16 minutes of flight. The plane was supposed to be over the Bay of Bengal at that time and also the weather was not bad. Since then, there were search operations going on to find this routine courier Aircraft.
Eight days have passed but the authorities are still clueless about the plane and thus have now looked towards The United States of America for help.
The Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar expressed concern over the entire incident and thus has sought help from the US. On Friday, the Defense Minister told the Parliament that he has requested the US to locate the missing Indian Air Force Flight. He asked the US that whether their satellite has received any signals from the aircraft, which is missing from July 22nd morning. “We are now contacting US [to check] whether their satellites have picked signals or not,” he said. However, Parrikar also said to be cautious as there was a thick cloud cover on the sky that day.
There are many possibilities to which the search teams are resorting to but according to the Union Minister, there is less possibility of sabotage behind the plane’s disappearance. The whole missing incident has even left the experts clueless and puzzled as said by Parrikar in the Rajya Sabha. He said: “I am also disturbed at such a sudden disappearance. I spoke with many air chiefs, other senior air force personnel; they also are stunned by the sudden disappearance.”
The Defense Minister had assured the Parliamentarians that all the required efforts are taken to locate the plane. Also, complete precautions are taken so that no unfit flight could take off. The Government is trying its best to curb the number of such aerial accidents. It is to be noted that the aircraft that time was nearly reaching to a “no radar coverage” spot.
Parrikar has visited Chennai on Saturday 23rd, to monitor and overlook the search and rescue operations himself for the IAF flight. All accessible resources from the air force, Coast Guard, and Indian Navy have been deployed since the missing day to assist with the operations.
These 279 hours has been difficult for the complete nation and it is a matter of thought that there is no concrete evidence so far with respect to missing AN-32 aircraft of the IAF.