IAF aircraft crashes in Arunachal

For the seventh day, the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) An-32 aircraft remains missing with 13 on board.
The plane had gone missing on 3 June, some time after it took of from the Jorhat air base in Assam for Mechukha in Shi Yomi district of Arunachal. The plane made the last contact 45 minutes into the hour-long flight from near Molo in Siang district. Thereafter, it vanished, prompting massive search operations in Siang valley and in Shi Yomi.
The IAF is being assisted by the Indian Army, naval forces, the state police and the administrations and local communities of the Siang districts and Shi Yomi in the search and rescue operations. However, the search and rescue operation has been severely affected by bad weather. One can only hope that the missing plane is traced soon.
However, the latest in the air crashes in Arunachal should be a reminder to the Indian Air Force and the government that more needs to be done to ensure safety, including upgrading of technology. Questions are being asked whether the plane had all the requisite emergency equipment, including an emergency locater transmitter – a device designed to transmit distress signals.
The IAF needs to come up with a standard operating procedure while flying in Arunachal, which is notorious for fluctuating weather. Unless there is a thorough study on the causes for crashes and the standard operating procedures, it is likely that there will more tragedy in future too.
Since 1995, there have been 12 air crashes in Arunachal. To prevent repeated tragedies, there has to be a thorough probe to find out the reasons. The process of fixing responsibility should start somewhere.