Local Mountaineers, Everest Climbers Were Part Of An-32 Search

According to district official Rajeev Takuk, the mountaineers had been part of a local trackers' team that had scoured the region for days.

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Local Mountaineers, Everest Climbers Were Part Of An-32 Search

Others in the same team included two Everest climbers, Taka Tamut and Kison Tekseng.


New Delhi: 

Two local mountaineers helped find the wreckage of a missing Indian Air Force An-32 aircraft that was spotted in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh from a Mi-17 helicopter on Tuesday. The debris was found in the mountains at a height of around 12,000 feet.

According to district official Rajeev Takuk, the mountaineers had been part of a local trackers' team that had scoured the region for days.

Others in the same team included two Everest climbers, Taka Tamut and Kison Tekseng.

As rescue ops began this morning, mountaineers were flown by Mi-17 choppers to the site.

The plane, a Soviet-designed twin engine turboprop transport aircraft, had vanished from the radar around 1 pm on June 3 while flying from Assam's Jorhat to Mechuka, a military landing strip in Arunachal.

Mr Takuk, in a note, said two teams of local hunters were first asked to locate the plane in the Bayor Hills, which fall in the traditional route of aircraft flying to Mechuka.

A team of police and locals were sent in another direction, towards Tato.

Two days later on June 6, special village experts scanned the hills, ravines and gorges. For their effort, they were paid Rs 800 each per day.

Mountaineers were also sent to Payum, where climbing means a three-day foot-march with hardly any roads.

After an eight-day search, the wreckage was found around 12-13 km from the Gate village, the last in the Siang district.

The teams worked even though there were "no roads, treacherous hills, ravines, rivers and gorges", wrote Mr Takuk.

The search cost Rs 4 lakh, the official said in his note.

An Air Force C-130J transport aircraft, Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, NAVY P8-I search aircraft and a fleet of IAF and Army helicopters were deployed for the search over the last eight days. The Air Force used two Mi-17s and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), the P8i.



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