Indian Air Force’s (IAF) AN-32 plane with 29 people on board goes missing since morning it took off from the Chennai (Tambaram) air base. Till now there is no clue about the missing plane after it lost the communication with Tambaram air base control room.
Officials say the plane took off the Tambaram air base near Chennai at 8.30 am for Port Blair (Andaman Nicobar Islands). If the plane would have been on track as scheduled the arrival at Port Blair was at 11.20 am.
The plane had communication only for 15 minutes after its take-off from the air base. It is a courier flight with mostly service personnel on board. There were 29 person on board.
The operation for the search of the missing plane is on by air force, Navy and Coast Guard in the Bay of Bengal. AN-32 has emergency beacon locator which usually gets activated in case of a crash. Indian Navy has launched two surveillance aircraft and deployed four ships in search operations.
AN-32s are Russian made and there are more than 100 of this kind with Indian Air Force in service. This aircraft is capable of operating in all weather conditions and can fly for up to four hours without refuelling. These plans are used as supply planes for mountains and desserts.
The search operations are in full swing as the dark would hamper the efforts beyond daylight.