Three days after it went missing, the wreckage of an Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, Sukhoi SU-30 was found in a thick forest around 60 km from Tezpur in Assam on Friday, but there was no word on the two IAF pilots who were on board.
“The wreckage of the IAF Su-30 jet that went missing with two pilots onboard has been found in the thick forest around 60 km from Tezpur, Assam, where it lost radar contact with the base,” an official statement said.
The statement said ground parties were to be airlifted to the crash site as the area is totally inaccessible.
Search for the flight data recorder and missing crew will be pursued by the ground parties after they reach the crash site, it said.
Search parties of the Army are also attempting to reach the crash site by trekking to the site, however their progress was hampered due to inclement weather, thick vegetation and steep gradient of the terrain.
The Su-30 had taken off from the IAF Tezpur air base, located about 172 km from the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh around 10.30 a.m. on a routine training mission on May 23.
It lost radar and radio contact with the controlling station around 11.10 a.m. near Arunachal Pradesh’s Doulasang area, adjoining China, 60 km north of Tezpur.
Tezpur has one of the three IAF air bases in the country that host the Sukhois.
Search and rescue operations were launched to locate the aircraft and the pilots.
Help from civil administration and military authorities was also sought to locate the aircraft. Aerial search was commenced based on the last known position of the Su-30.
Incessant rain and dense clouds also hampered the search operations in air and on the ground. Search parties of IAF and Army set out to the area where the aircraft was declared missing.
A court of Inquiry has been ordered to probe the cause of the accident, IAF said.
Last year, a Sukhoi-30MKI crashed near Nagaon town of Assam during a routine sortie. While the two pilots ejected safely, some locals suffered splinter injuries in the crash.