An Indian Air Force (IAF) Antonov 32 (AN-32) has crashed in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh which borders China. A total of 12 people – two pilots, a navigator, three air crew and six army personnel, were on board the twin engined cargo aircraft.
The AN-32 plane had flown from Jorhat in Assam to Mechuka advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district from where it took off again with the civilians bound for Mohanbari in Assam at around 14:00 local (08:00Z). Ten minutes later the aircraft went missing.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia.
A search that had been mounted for the aircraft had to be called off due to fading light and would be resumed only Wednesday morning, the officials said.
The Indian Air Force was the launch customer of the AN-32 which is an improved version of the AN-26. It is the workhorse of the IAF transport fleet, travelling to far off bases in the mountainous and heavily wooded north east, to deliver much-needed supplies.
A court of inquiry has been ordered. Sources say the aircraft from one of the Jorhat based (No. 43 or No. 48) transport squadrons, was piloted by two Wing Commanders (USAF rank of Lt. Colonel).
Air Force Station Yelahanka on the northern outskirts of Bangalore and located just south of Bengaluru International Airport is the main training centre for the AN-32 transport pilots.