The search for the missing the missing Indian Air force Plane with 29 people on board has been further intensified with various aircrafts, warships and submarines looking for the transport aircraft despite unfavorable weather conditions. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is using its Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) to locate the missing aircraft. RISAT can see through the clouds and can be instrumental in the search operation according to ISRO chief. "We will be using RISAT to locate the missing aircraft. The satellite can take pictures both during the day and night. It can see through the clouds," ISRO Chairman AS Kiran Kumar said.
19 warships, 17 aircrafts and a submarine has been assigned to locate the missing aircrafts but there hasn’t been any breakthrough so far. The search operation has been centered on the probable crash zone which spans over around 5000 square Kilometers in the Bay of Bengal. 13 ships, five planes including two P8i surveillance craft which can 'see' in darkness and two Dorniers have also been deployed for the search, reported TOI.
Experts are analyzing all the available data to reduce the area of search. Ocean currents, wind speed, speed of the air craft, its altitude at the time of last contact have all been taken into consideration. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar himself attended an Arial Survey of the probable accident zone and was later briefed about the massive search operation being undertaken by the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guards.
Earlier the twin engine aircraft went missing after a reported downward spiral causing it to lose its height rapidly from its height of 23,000 feet. The Russian-built Antonov AN-32 military transport aircraft was carrying service personnel and six crew members as it undertook a routine courier service to the remote Andaman and Nicobar islands. The last contact was made about 15 minutes after takeoff from Tambaram Air Force station on the outskirts of Chennai. AN-32 planes are the IAF’s transport aircraft and are capable of flying for up to four hours once refuelled. An IAF source said radar data from the missing aircraft showed it making a sharp left turn before rapidly losing altitude.