There has been no sighting of any debris of the AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force with 29 on board which went missing yesterday over the Bay of Bengal enroute to Port Blair from Chennai.
IAF, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard are scouting the entire length and breadth of the Bay to find the aircraft.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has reached Chennai to take stock of the situation. He was briefed by IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on the search and rescue operations.
The AN-32 belonging to 33 Squadron, took off from Tambaram Air Force Station in Chennai at 8.30 am on July 22. At around 8.46 am, it made its last radio contact.
Reports say that the recorded transcript of Chennai air traffic radar shows that the last pickup of the aircraft was 151 nautical miles (approx. 300 kilometers) east of Chennai.
On board were six crew members, 15 personnel from the IAF, army, navy and Coast Guard, and eight civilians who were family members of the personnel. According to Indian Express
, the aircraft that went missing had developed technical snags recently including a pressure leak from the port door and a hydraulic leak from Port Wing Root. An AN-32 is a twin engine turboprop, medium tactical transport aircraft built in Russia. It flies at a height lower than that of most commerical jet liners at a top speed of 530 kmph. An AN-32 can carry a maximum load of around 6.7 tonne or 39 people for upto 2500 kms.