Chennai, June 9 (IANS): An Indian Coast Guard Dornier aircraft with three crew members aboard has gone missing, officials said here on Tuesday.
Search and rescue operations are on to locate the aircraft, which was last tracked near Karaikal in Puducherry.
The aircraft, deployed for surveillance along Tamil Nadu coast and Palk Bay, took off from Chennai airport on Monday evening around 6 p.m. but did not return after surveillance sorties.
An official statement said the last contact with the aircraft was made at 9 p.m. on Monday.
The last known location of the aircraft as per Trichy radar was off Karaikal in Puducherry, where it was tracked till 9.23 p.m., 95 nautical miles south of Chennai.
"The aircraft had two pilots and one observer - all experienced personnel," said the official. "The aircraft is the latest induction in the Coast Guard inventory in 2014 and was being flown by highly experienced crew," an official statement said.
He said Coast Guard and Indian Navy ships are conducting search operations. The fishing community along the coast have also been alerted to pass on any information that may come their way.
Surveillance aircraft P8I are undertaking search and rescue operations.
This comes months after a Dornier-228 of Indian Navy with three crew members onboard went down in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Goa.