The search for Indian Air Force aircraft AN-32 has been called off, more than two months after it went missing over Bay of Bengal with 29 passengers onboard. An official announcement, however, is yet to be made by the IAF or the defence ministry.
A team from Chennai-based National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) conducted a deep sea search with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on board research vessel Sagar Nidhi in four locations about 200 nautical miles from Chennai coast, but could not find the aircraft debris.The ROV fitted with cameras began the search at a depth of about 3,500 metres. These locations were filtered from more than a 100 different spots identified during the initial seabed mapping conducted with a multibeam echosounder and a sub-bottom profiler.
The AN-32 went missing mid-air on July 22, about 15 minutes after taking off from Tambaram Air Force base to Port Blair.
NIOT director Sateesh C Shenoi said the search was called off more than a week ago after they searched the seabed in the four locations with the submersible. “They were the most expected locations.We didn’t find the remains. So, we finished the search and the vessel has moved out of that location for another assignment,“ he said. Shenoi said the team was, nevertheless, ready for another search in Bay of Bengal if the defence ministry came up with definite locations.
dinathanthi newspaper 14/10/2016 : http://www.dinathanthiepaper.in/firstpage.aspx