Chennai, July 31(tamilnaducentral): The mobile phone of a crew member of the missing AN 32 aircraft was working, claims kith and kin. The aircraft went missing on July 22nd and the mobile phone of Bengaluru-based Rajeev Naik was active on July 26th, his family members say. The WhatsApp was on and the family could send messages on July 26th.
Meanwhile, the Air Force denied a report that tribals had spotted an aircraft that crashed in the forests of Andhra. Andhra police stated that the operations that were going on in the forest area was combing for Maoists and not for the aircraft. Fishermen in Alappuzha (Kerala) picked up a debris of an aircraft which had Israeli markings. It was handed over to the Naval base in Kochi.
So far, 13 ships including a submarine have been deployed in the search of the AN 32 aircraft that went missing on the flight from Chennai to Andaman. Out of the 29 people on board, 17 of them were from Air Force and rest from Navy and coast guard forces. The search entered the ninth day. The aircraft had reached the edge of the radar area and entered a space where no radar can pick up the sighting from Port Blair or Chennai.
Another finding is that there was a cumulonimbus cloud formation which pilots avoid as it is very charged. AN 32 lost height drastically and took a left turn and lost contact.
The emergency beacon locator has not beamed any signals. Russian manufacturer of the AN 32 aircraft used mainly for carrying transport says that the locator will work only if the pilot activates it. In the earlier issue of a Dornier aircraft that went missing, the locator was not activated.
India has sought the help of US to look whether any of its satellites that crossed the region had picked any signals of the aircraft. Special vessels are being put in to locate the missing aircraft.