NEW DELHI: The wreckage of the
Antonov-32 that went missing
8 days ago has finally been “located” in a remote mountainous area in the state ofArunachal Pradesh, in a development that may eventually bring some of the officers of the six officers and seven other personnel on the ill-fated medium transport aircraft.
The IAF plans to “heli-drop” some Garud commandos, mountaineers and other personnel near the crash site, around 16-km north of Lipo, north-east of Tato in the west Siang district of Arunachal, after the wreckage was “spotted from the air “by Mi-17 helicopters on Tuesday afternoon. “Efforts are underway to establish the status of the 13 personnel on board,” said an officer.
“The wreckage is in a dense forest close to a hill top of an elevation of around 12,000-feet, where even light helicopters can not land. A heli-drop is being planned on Wednesday morning, because it will take two-three days A nearby landing site has also been identified, “he added.
The possibility of finding survivors is, दुर्भाग्य से, considered bleak The officers on board the AN-32, which went missing from way to Mechuka (Arunachal) fromJorhat(Assam) on June 3, were Wing Commander GM Charles, Squadron Leader H Vinod, Flight Lieutenants Mohit Garg, Sumit Mohanty, Ashish Tanwar Rajesh Thapa The other ranks are Warrant Officer KK Mishra, Sergeant Anoop, Corporal Sharin, airmen Pankaj Sangwan and SK Singh and non-combatants Rajesh Kumar and Putali.
Before the AN-32 crash, IAF has already lost six fighters, two Hawk advanced jet trainers and a Mi-17 helicopter this year, with 10 personnel being killed in them. This unacceptable high crash rate once again reinforces how a combination of ageing aircraft, shoddy maintenance and poor upgrades as well as inadequate training to pilots and technicians make a dangerous mix in the IAF.
The court of inquiry (CoI) will establish whether it was a technical snag or some sort of “human error” in the tropical weather and terrain conditions of the Arunachal Pradesh that led to the latest crash. But the twin-engine turboprop AN-32 in question was still upgraded with airframe strengthening, advanced avionics and radars to fly in difficult conditions, as was first reported by TOI
“If the AN-32’s cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) are recovered in good condition, they can provide crucial details for the CoI,” said another official. Only 54 of the 99 AN-32s in the IAF fleet, which were inducted from the erstwhileSoviet Unionbetween 1984 and 1991, have been upgraded with “technical life extension from the original 25 years to 40 years, overhaul and re-equipment” till now under an initial $ 400 million contract with Ukraine in 2009.
Contributions and races for the AN-32 upgrade project, which was originally slated for completion by 2013. There were also defective parts and spare parts supplied on some of the allegations. for the planes
The upgrade project, incidentally, was finalized after another AN-32 on an “air maintenance sortie” had crashed into the same Jorhat-Mechuka-Mohanbari sector on June 9, 2009. That AN-32 also had 13 troops on board like the one that was missing on June 3 this year. The CoI in the 2009 crash held it due to `human error (aircrew) ‘, with the aircraft hitting a mountain after the pilots got after some clouds. In technical terms, it was an incident of “controlled flight in terrain (C-FIT)”.
In Video:Wreckage of missing IAF AN-32 found in Arunachal Pradesh’s Siang district