Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa is visiting Air Force Station Jorhat in Assam to review the ongoing search and rescue operations for the AN-32 transport aircraft with 13 personnel on board that went missing on Monday, June 3.

The AN-32 transport aircraft had disappeared with 13 persons on board hours after it took off from Assam’s Jorhat airbase for Menchuka Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft had last contacted ground sources at 1 pm after taking off from Jorhat airbase at 12:25 pm. The Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground is located near the China border.

The IAF immediately scrambled Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft and C-130 Special Operations aircraft on a search mission to locate the missing jet.

The Indian Navy had, on Tuesday, also deployed its long-range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i to join the rescue operation for the missing flight.

On Thursday, June 6, the IAF had informed that it has further intensified and expanded the search for the missing An 32. “Fighter aircraft, C130, Helicopters, aircraft carrying specialised sensors, satellites and all possible civil, police and local administrative agencies have further expanded search based on human and sensor inputs,” said IAF in a tweet.

The IAF, in a series of tweets, said, “No effort is being spared to locate the missing aircraft. P8i, aircraft of #IndianNavy will again fly a sortie tomorrow morning as the weather is likely to improve slightly.

Search parties have set out on foot in likely directions to locate the aircraft and its occupants.

“These parties have been encountering thick forests as they tirelessly search every part of a very difficult terrain.

The search by parties on foot and night capable aircraft will continue through the night and satellites data is being analysed regularly.

“Weather continues to pose a challenge, however IAF remains committed to continued efforts to locate the aircraft and it’s brave air warriors. IAF has flown more than 100 hours in search operations.

“IAF is not sparing any efforts in locating the missing air-warriors. We stand in support of the families in these difficult times.”