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Inclement weather hampers AN-32 recovery operations

The rescue team of 17 Indian Air Force (IAF), Army personnel and civilian members is present at the crash site.

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Inclement weather hampers AN-32 recovery operations
The crash site seen from a craft engaged in rescue operations
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Operations to retrieve the mortal remains of the personnel onboard the Antonov-32 military transport aircraft from the wreckage site in the forested mountainous terrain in Arunachal Pradesh failed for the second consecutive day due to incessant rains and heavy cloud cover.

"No helicopter could fly today due to bad weather," Indian Air Force said.

The rescue team of 17 Indian Air Force (IAF), Army personnel and civilian members is present at the crash site.

The IAF stated that the helicopter operations require great skill and caution, under such conditions, especially hovering at high altitudes and very close to the steep mountain slopes. "Bad weather is disallowing the helicopters to hover and to conduct winching operations, which are mandatory for all rescue operations and recovery of mortal remains," the IAF said, adding that all efforts are being made to heli-lift the mortal remains of the IAF personnel at the earliest to their parent base Jorhat.

The team also has the recovered Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) with which the reason behind the crash can be deciphered. The rescue team has taken custody of the black box and damage done to the box can only be assessed once it is brought to the air base.

The wreckage of the plane was spotted on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 feet near Gatte village on the border of Siang and Shi-Yomi districts, after eight days of searching operations, which involved a fleet of aircraft and choppers as well as ground forces.

The IAF's transport aircraft went missing on June 3, after taking off at noon from Assam's Jorhat for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh. The AN-32 lost contact a little over half-an-hour after it took off. IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa had also camped at Jorhat in Assam and reviewed the search and rescue operations.

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