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Sukhoi fighter jet goes missing: A brief history of Indian Air Force plane crashes in Arunachal Pradesh

On Tuesday, a Sukhoi SU-30 aircraft that took off from Tezpur's Salanibari Air Force station in Assam went missing.

An IAF Sukhoi SU-30 aircraft. Image courtesy PIB

An IAF Sukhoi SU-30 aircraft. Image courtesy PIB

The aircraft, which was on a routine mission, went missing around 11 am on Tuesday, 60 kilometres north of Tezpur, near Doulasang area of Arunachal Pradesh, which is a border area adjoining China.

Search operations are on, however, the Indian Air Force has a chequered history when it comes to crashes in Arunachal Pradesh.

In 2010, an Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopter crashed around 10 kilometres from Tawang, killing all 12 defence personnel on board, according to a report in The Hindu.

The victims included two pilots, a lieutenant colonel and 11 IAF personnel. Defence sources said the chopper, which was on a maintenance sortie, was heading to Guwahati and crashed just minutes after takeoff from Army Brigade Headquarters in Tawang, The Hindu reported.

In 2009, an Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft with 13 people on board crashed near a village in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, killing all 13 personnel on board, according to a report in The Indian Express.

The aircraft was heading Assam from the Mechuka advanced landing ground (ALG) in West Siang, close to the China border. The aircraft was located after a 24-hour search and the charred bodies were retrieved from the wreckage.

In 1997, then Minister of State for Defence NVN Somu and four others, including a major general and two crew members, were killed when their army helicopter crashed over the snow-covered mountains in bad weather near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Business Standard reported.

Five army choppers located the wreckage of the helicopter at an altitude of more than 4,000 metres in a virtually inaccessible area.


Published Date: May 23, 2017 15:42 PM | Updated Date: May 23, 2017 19:23 PM

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