Operation to find the Sukhoi-30 fighter jet, which went missing after take off from Tezpur IAF base in Assam, was resumed on Thursday. However, after hours of massive search operation, no breakthrough was made in locating the aircraft and its pilots till the evening, reported news agency ANI. On Tuesday morning, the jet had taken off from the IAF station on the outskirts of Tezpur. It had lost radar and radio contact around 60 km northeast of the air base, following which authorities at Biswanath district, which borders Arunachal Pradesh, were informed. After this, a massive search operation was launched. But according to reports, it had to stop on Wednesday, due to poor weather conditions.
A day after this, the search operation again resumed. This time, C-130 aircraft with electro-optical payload ALH helicopters are being reportedly being utilized for the mission. However, the weather conditions remained an obstacle, ANI reported. The terrain and thick foliage of search area still created a challenge to the ongoing search operations for the missing aircraft. Four ground teams of IAF personnel, nine of the Indian Army and two of state administration, were deployed on different axis to scour the region.
As per the Indian Air Force, the aircraft was flying as a part of a two a two aircraft formation before it went missing. The last radar and radio contact with the plane was made close to 11.10 AM while the fighter was flying over Dubia in Gohpur sub-division of Biswanath district, adjacent to Sonitpur district of Assam, revealed Sonitpur Deputy Commissioner (DC) Manoj Kumar Deka.
Till now, the Air Force has already lost at least seven of the 240 Sukhoi-30MKIs. This was the second time that a Sukhoi-30 of the Tezpur base has met with trouble. On May 19, last year, a Sukhoi-30 crashed close to Laokhowa wildlife sanctuary in Nagaon district.