Debris of IAF's An-32 aircraft that went missing 7 years ago found – Hindustan Times

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The debris of the Indian Air Force’s An-32 aircraft that went missing over the Bay of Bengal in 2016 with 29 people onboard has been found after seven years, the union ministry of defence said on Friday. According to an official statement, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), deployed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology, was used to locate the missing aircraft on the sea bed approximately 310 kilometers from the Chennai coast.
The search was conducted at a depth of 3,400 meters using several payloads, including a multi-beam SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging), synthetic aperture SONAR, and high-resolution photography, the defence ministry said.
“The search images were scrutinised and found to be conforming with an An-32 aircraft. This discovery at the probable crash site, with no other recorded history of any other missing aircraft report in the same area, points to the debris as possibly belonging to the crashed IAF An-32 (K-2743),” the official statement read.
The IAF’s An-32 twin-engine aircraft mysteriously disappeared over the Bay of Bengal on July 22, 2016. The aircraft took off from the Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at around 8:30 am and was due to arrive at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands around midday. However, the authorities lost radar contact with the aircraft at around 9:12 am when the plane was about 280 kilometers east of Chennai.
There were 29 people onboard the aircraft including – six crew members, 11 IAF personnel, two Indian Army soldiers – one each from the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard, and eight defence civilians working with the Naval Armament Depot.
The search and rescue operation for the aircraft became one of India’s largest search operations with the Indian Army soldiers using a submarine, surface vessels, and several aircraft to locate the plane. While on August 1, 2016, it was confirmed that the aircraft had no underwater locator beacon, the rescue mission was called off on September 15, 2016, with all the people onboard presumed dead.


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