Missing An-32: Pilot’s Wife Was On Air Traffic Control Duty When Aircraft Went Off The Radar

07 June 2019


New Delhi: While Indian Air Force's An-32 aircraft is still nowhere to be found, a heart-wrenching story has emerged from the incident. Sandhya Tanwar, who was on duty at the IAF's Air Traffic Control Room in Jorhat, watched her husband Ashish Tanwar go off the radar as he was piloting the An-32 aircraft that went missing in the thick forest area of Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday afternoon.

Sandhya, an air traffic control officer posted at the Johrat airbase, had tied the knot with Flight Lieutenant Ashish in 2018. Sandhya had passed out of the Air Force Academy (AFA) while Ashish, who hails from Haryana’s Palwal, had joined the IAF in December 2013 after completing his B.Tech degree. While they had imagined a happy life together, little did they know that fate had other plans for them. 

As the plane went off the radar barely half an hour after take-off, Sandhya was the first one to know about the disappearance of the IAF transport aircraft as she was monitoring the plane's route from ATC room.

The Indian Air Force on Thursday intensified and expanded search to locate the AN-32 plane, which went missing on Monday with 13 people aboard.

According to an official statement, four Mi-17, three Advanced Light Helicopters (two of Army and one from IAF), two SU-30 MKI, one C130 and one Army UAV, satellites and all possible civil, police and local administrative agencies have further expanded search based on human and sensor inputs.

Moreover, two Cheetah helicopters are set to be added to the Search and rescue operation on Friday. Search parties have also been set out on foot in likely directions to locate the aircraft and its occupants. 

The aircraft went missing in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday after taking off from Assam.

The transport aircraft was flying from Jorhat to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground. Mechuka is a small town in Aruanchal bordering China.

(With IANS Inputs)