AN-32 Wreckage Found in West Siang

Eight days after an Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft with 13 people on board disappeared during a flight, its wreckage was found in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district, bringing the focus back on a 2009 crash of another AN-32 bearing eerie similarities.

An IAF AN-32 in June 9, 2009 had crashed near Tato in West Siang, which is near the location of the recent crash. The previous crash site would also have been around the same elevation as the present one, which is 12,000 feet. The 2009 aircraft was also transporting the same number of people when it had taken off from Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground  — the place where the aircraft in the present incident was to land — and was headed to Assam’s Mohanbari Air Force Station when it disappeared.

The court of inquiry into the 2009 crash concluded that it was due to human error, as the pilots apparently got disoriented after entering some clouds and then banged into a mountain. In the present crash, however, the IAF will try to retrieve the aircraft’s black box to ascertain what went wrong.

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