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Human inputs helped locate AN-32

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, June 18 - When modern technology failed to deliver, human intelligence input helped in locating the wreckage of the ill fated AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which crashed in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh with 13 persons on board. The delay in locating the wreckage once again proved that it is still tough for even well-trained Army personnel to negotiate the rough terrain in the areas near the international border with China.

The foot tracks shown in the old maps of the area no longer exist and the Army patrols sent out in search of the ill fated aircraft had to negotiate tough terrain infested with snakes, different kinds of insects and even leopards.

The unit of the 11th Bihar Regiment of the Indian Army deployed in Kaying was the first responder after the tragedy occurred as the unit was nearest to the area where the accident took place.

Giving details of the turn of events, Army sources told The Assam Tribune that the aircraft was supposed to fly over the 11th Bihar Regiment unit in Kaying on way to Mechuka at around 12.50 pm on June 3 but the Army men did not notice any aircraft flying over them at that time. A little later, the Army men got a message that the aircraft was missing. Search parties were sent out immediately but they could not locate the aircraft and the parties had to return before sunset.

The very next morning, more search parties of the Army were sent out in search of the ill fated aircraft and by that time, the Indian Air Force and Navy aircraft also launched a massive search operation. The weather also proved a major hurdle, while it was difficult for the aircraft hovering over the area to see underneath the thick jungle.

The job of the foot patrols was even tougher because of the terrain, thick jungles, it was almost impossible to see what lies ahead. The foot tracks shown in the old maps also could not be located and there were initial inputs of people hearing sounds of aircraft from three different locations and all those proved to be wild goose chase.

In several places, landslides were mistaken for crash sites, which added to the woes of the rescue parties.

Interestingly, during the search operations, foot patrols of the Army found tombstones in a jungle and later it was discovered that those were tombs of the Assam Rifles personnel who lost their lives due to snake bites and other natural causes while they were deployed in the area long back.

Sources revealed that on June 11, the Army and Air Force personnel received two inputs from two persons. Both of them reported that they heard sounds of aircraft and one was found to be correct and the ill fated aircraft could be located. The parties, which went on foot to the site of the accident, did not return to their bases till late last night and Army sources said that they are expected to return within the next couple of days.

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Human inputs helped locate AN-32

GUWAHATI, June 18 - When modern technology failed to deliver, human intelligence input helped in locating the wreckage of the ill fated AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF), which crashed in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh with 13 persons on board. The delay in locating the wreckage once again proved that it is still tough for even well-trained Army personnel to negotiate the rough terrain in the areas near the international border with China.

The foot tracks shown in the old maps of the area no longer exist and the Army patrols sent out in search of the ill fated aircraft had to negotiate tough terrain infested with snakes, different kinds of insects and even leopards.

The unit of the 11th Bihar Regiment of the Indian Army deployed in Kaying was the first responder after the tragedy occurred as the unit was nearest to the area where the accident took place.

Giving details of the turn of events, Army sources told The Assam Tribune that the aircraft was supposed to fly over the 11th Bihar Regiment unit in Kaying on way to Mechuka at around 12.50 pm on June 3 but the Army men did not notice any aircraft flying over them at that time. A little later, the Army men got a message that the aircraft was missing. Search parties were sent out immediately but they could not locate the aircraft and the parties had to return before sunset.

The very next morning, more search parties of the Army were sent out in search of the ill fated aircraft and by that time, the Indian Air Force and Navy aircraft also launched a massive search operation. The weather also proved a major hurdle, while it was difficult for the aircraft hovering over the area to see underneath the thick jungle.

The job of the foot patrols was even tougher because of the terrain, thick jungles, it was almost impossible to see what lies ahead. The foot tracks shown in the old maps also could not be located and there were initial inputs of people hearing sounds of aircraft from three different locations and all those proved to be wild goose chase.

In several places, landslides were mistaken for crash sites, which added to the woes of the rescue parties.

Interestingly, during the search operations, foot patrols of the Army found tombstones in a jungle and later it was discovered that those were tombs of the Assam Rifles personnel who lost their lives due to snake bites and other natural causes while they were deployed in the area long back.

Sources revealed that on June 11, the Army and Air Force personnel received two inputs from two persons. Both of them reported that they heard sounds of aircraft and one was found to be correct and the ill fated aircraft could be located. The parties, which went on foot to the site of the accident, did not return to their bases till late last night and Army sources said that they are expected to return within the next couple of days.