Cheni, June 14: The Indian Coast Guard is expecting some concrete information on its missing Dornier aircraft with a submarine joining the search operations, an officer said on Sunday. The Coast Guard also refuted television reports of the aircraft being located under water. “The submarine (INS Sindhudhavaj) has started its search in the area where the aircraft is suspected to have fallen,” a Coast Guard officer told IANS.
“Today, b late evening we should get some information on the missing aircraft. The television reports of locating the aircraft underwater are totally wrong,” he added. According to him, the aircraft manufacturer is also being requested to assist in the deciphering the reason for the its disappearance. This is the second Dornier aircraft that went down with three crew in the recent times.
The latest incident comes within months of a Dornier-228 of the Indian vy with three crew going down in the Arabian Sea off the Goa coast, killing two. The March crash was the first involving a Dornier, inducted by the vy in the mid-90s. According to the Coast Guard official, there is no similarity of pattern between the two aircrafts -the one that went down last December and the missing aircraft.
“We are doing various studies on the probable cause of aircraft missing,” the official said. He said the Dornier aircraft has an emergency exit. “Unless we get the flight data recorder or see the missing aircraft we cannot tell anything,” he said. He also said the tests of multi-coloured oil sheen found on the sea turned negative. On Saturday survey ship INS Sandhayak, undertaking a sub-surface search, detected intermittent transmission of 37.5 khz, likely to be from the sor locator beacon of the missing aircraft, the Coast Guard said in a statement issued here. “The transmission is from around the position where the air traffic control radar lost contact of the aircraft on Monday night,” the statement added.
Ever since the Coast Guard aircraft with three crew members went off the radar around 9.23 p.m. on Monday, an intensive search is on for the last six days to locate it. The Coast Guard also requested Reliance India Ltd to extend services of a multi-support vessel with remote-operated underwater vehicle for underwater search. tiol Institute of Ocean Technology’s research vessel Sagar Nidhi was likely to arrive in the search area on June 14 to augment the search. The missing Dornier had on board Deputy Commandant Vidyasagar as pilot, his co-pilot and Deputy Commandant Subash Suresh and vigator/observer M.K. Soni - all in their 30s.
The missing aircraft was deployed for surveillance along the Tamil du coast and over Palk Bay. It took off from Cheni airport around 6 p.m. on June 8 for a surveillance sortie and on its way back it went missing, said a Coast Guard official. The last contact with the aircraft was at 9 p.m. on Monday while its last known location, as per Trichy radar, was off Karaikal in Puducherry where it was tracked till 9.23 p.m., 95 utical miles south of Cheni. “The aircraft was the latest induction in the Coast Guard inventory in 2014 and was being flown by a highly experienced crew,” an official statement said. (IANS)