As massive search operations continued unabated for the sixth day today for the Indian Air Force's An-32 went missing on June 3 with 13 people on board, Chief of the Air Staff B S Dhanoa visited Air Force Station Jorhat in Assam to assess the ongoing efforts.
He was given a detailed briefing about the operations and was apprised with the inputs received so far, an official press release said.
He also interacted with families of the officers and airmen who were onboard the aircraft.
The An-32 transport aircraft had taken off from Jorhat at 12.27 pm on Monday with 13 people on board for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The aircraft lost contact with the ground staff at 1.30 pm.
The IAF launched massive search operations soon after it was established that the aircraft had not reached its destination within the stipulated time.
Resources from various agencies, including ISRO. were brought into the operation to enhance the effectiveness of the search efforts. The area of search is mountainous and heavily forested with thick undergrowth. The weather in the area has been inclement with low clouds and rain during most hours.
Combined with the inhospitable terrain, the weather has posed serious challenges to aerial search operations, the release said.
Search efforts by ground teams of Indian Army, ITBP, State Police and members of local population continued in full force today. However, aerial search could not be undertaken due to poor weather conditions prevailing throughout the day.
The IAF has increased the deployment of its helicopters and transport aircraft and has expanded the search area significantly since the beginning of the operations. More and more area is being covered by airborne sensors and satellites and the imaging is being followed up by close analysis of the data for its synergistic amalgamation in the search operations, the release added.
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