The Indian Air Force would ascertain the cause of the recent crash of transport aircraft AN-32 in Arunachal Pradesh and take steps to ensure that such incidents do not recur, IAF chief BS Dhanoa said on Saturday.
His comments came days after the wreckage of the Russian-origin twin-engined military transport aircraft was found in a remote area in Arunachal Pradesh. The wreckage was spotted after more than a week of an intense search operation.
"We have recovered the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder...We will go into the detail (to ascertain) as to what happened and how do we make sure that it does not happen again," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal.
"In Arunachal Pradesh, the way we fly, the terrain is very treacherous and most of the time, it is cloudy...When you are flying in that terrain, in that cloudy weather, there have been many, many, not only Air Force, even otherwise, Pawan Hans and all, lot of accidents, because of controlled flight into terrain," he claimed.
Noting that there were procedures to make sure such accidents do not recur, he said, ".. need to review what happened and we don't have such an accident again."
Meanwhile, some reports suggest that the Indian Air Force is likely to take the AN-32s off duty for crucial missions. The Hindustan Times’ report said that the decision to stop using the twin-engine planes may become a reality soon due to safety concerns.
This means that the Russian-origin planes won’t be deployed in missions that involve flying over hilly regions or seas. Instead, the Indian Air Force may now use C295 aircraft for operations, the HT report said while quoting an official.
The AN-32 went missing in the afternoon of June 3, around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh.
After eight days of a massive search operation, the wreckage of the plane was spotted by an IAF chopper on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 feet near Gatte village on the border of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts. All 13 on board the aircraft died.