Mechuka : An Indian Air Force transport aircraft has gone missing after taking off from an airbase in Jorhat, Assam. The last contact with the aircraft – an Antonov AN-32 military transport aircraft – was at around 1 pm today. 13 people were on board the plane at the time of its take off, including eight crew members and five passengers.
The Indian Air Force has deployed all available resources to locate the aircraft.
The Antonov AN-32 had taken off from Jorhat in Assam and was heading to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground, located in Mechuka Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.
The plane lost contact around 35 minutes after taking off.
The Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is located near the China Border.
The terrain under the flight’s route is mountainous and heavily-forested. The landing and take-off approaches to Mechuka are extremely difficult.
The AN-32 is a Russian designed twin engine turboprop transport aircraft used extensively by the Indian Air Force for over four decades.
A similar incident happened in 2016 when an Indian Air Force AN-32 disappeared while flying over the Bay of Bengal after taking off from Chennai for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The search and rescue operation became India’s largest such operation for a missing plane on the sea in history but the aircraft was never found. The search operations were called over after three months.