Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Full Update On Search For IAF MiG-29 & Pilot


IAF Statement: A massive search operation has been launched by the IAF to search for the missing Mig-29 aircraft and its pilot Sqn Ldr DS Tomar that crashed on the night of 18 Oct 11 in the mountainous area of Lahaul Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. Till date 132 sorties have been flown towards search and rescue (SAR) operations. Considering the remote, high altitude treacherous snow clad mountainous region at elevations extending from 15000 ft to 20000 ft above mean sea level and the fact that no radio call was received from the pilot of the missing aircraft has made the search effort very demanding. All available data including that from other aircraft flying in the area, inputs from the formation leader, data on his aircraft as well as reports from civil police received through villagers in the area were collated to ascertain the probable crash site.


While analysing the data, a coherent plan for mounting SAR operations was conceptualised and the search aircraft were airborne on the first light on 19 Oct. Within first 24 hours a total of 22 sorties were mounted that flew over 41 hours. These included SU-30, Jaguar, RPA, Cheetah, Cheetal and An-32 aircraft which searched the probable areas by high tech electro optical eqpt and visual means covering wide extensive search for wreckage and deep intensive search to locate the missing pilot. The search patterns were planned for each type of sensor employed depending on the height and time of the day. The data collected from these are being analysed by specialist in imagery interpretation. Team of these specialists are constantly at work since the occurrence on 18 Oct. The National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) has been approached to make available data of the probable search area that may have been covered by any of the satellites. This effort was important as no radio call was received from the crashed aircraft and early sighting of the missing pilot and the ac wreckage was important.

On subsequent days similar search effort by air were launched maintaining the tempo and refining the search based on inputs received from data collected the previous day. The effort was augmented by the ground search parties of air warriors and Indian Army. The aircraft involved in search are being launched from Leh, Udhampur, Jammu, Bareilly etc where the specialised equipment is located to cover the large area of search in the mountains.

Alongside search by air, ground parties were airlifted with specially trained and acclimatised troops. Gp Capt PK Sharma VM was assigned the Task Force Commander for the search effort ex 'Kelylong' in 'Lahaul' area. 'Thirot' village Sarpanch with help of villagers brought a few wreckage components which were identified to be that of MiG-29 aircraft. However the entire area came under fresh snow following a spell of bad weather.

Even though the combat Exercise has got over, the HQ WAC has remained focused to the task of SAR which is being undertaken on a war footing. The Ladakh Scouts and other elements of Indian Army, the air warriors of IAF mountaineering team are being utilised for the ground search effort. IAF has also employed local mountaineers who are best suited for undertaking search operations in the snowbound, high altitude regions for extended period.

The aviation accident experts who have flown over the area are of the opinion that the ground party is likely to be most effective since the aircraft may have disintegrated after the impact and the debris is spread across the slopes on either side of the ridge line. Nothing can be said with certainty at this stage until the crash site is conclusively identified and flight data recorder (black box) is recovered and analysed.

Since the time of the occurrence, IAF authorities are in constant touch with the family of the missing pilot providing them inputs on the progress of the search and rescue effort.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I give up.. I dont think he is alive... If he was he would have made it someway or the other...

Anonymous said...

this whole incident has become a black spot on image of Indian air force and all the satellite of ISRO.
they cant even locate a downed pilot in their on own country and are talking about doing (abbottabad) behind enemy lines.

Anonymous said...

My well wish with the brave man.

rakesh said...

this whole incident has become a black spot on image of Indian air force and all the satellite of ISRO.
they cant even locate a downed pilot in their on own country and are talking about doing (abbottabad) behind enemy lines.

Mohamed said...

Does our airforce carry out these searches using systematic processes such as Bayesian search theory? Or is it a haphazard, look where you can approach?

Anonymous said...

132 sorties and they could not find anything.

Anonymous said...

CAG has heavily criticised ISRO's remote sensing capabilities and underperformance especially after the failure of YSR's crash !

It is better not to talk about IAF as it has behaved like a WWII force when it comes to SAR !

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Indian Air Force and your equipment's.

Rahul Devnath said...

While it's easy criticize IAF's and ISOR's capabilities, its important realize that they are not searching for a wreckage or a downed pilot. They are looking for debris spread across kilometers, and if at all any, remains of pilot. Which is already covered under thick blanket of snow and in extreme terrain. It's not as easy as it seems!

j3rky admin said...

Special Team from High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS), Gulmarg is also in search operation.

To the Anonymous:

You don't have any idea about the terrain and weather condition.
Normal people find hard to breath in such areas & winter has also arrived. Area has already faced a low profile snowfall.

All the routes to that area are going to be officially closed after 30th of this month till summer arrives. Though you can go. But jst imagine how tough would be the terrain & weather if govt is closing it.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Bayesian search theory indeed! Somebody has a Ph.D in technology strategy, I see.

Why do folks assume that the Air Force, which has had decades to think about problems such as this one, hasn't thought about things that it takes an internet warrior all of five seconds to come up with?

जाट देवता (संदीप पवाँर) said...

शुभ दीपावली

Anonymous said...

@Devnath - Is there a concept of having Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) and or Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) in IAF ?? Either with the ejection seat or life-vest of the pilot ???

And do you believe that satellite aided SAR (ELT/PLB) is hampered by snow conditions?

Anil Kumar Baggan said...

I want to give a suggestion to INDIAN AIR FORCE for searching mig29 components & pilot. It should be use INFRATEC CAMERAS. May be it helps for search pilot and plan components.

Anil Kumar Baggan said...

Please use INFRATEC CAMERAS for searching the mig29 & pilot. It will be help you. I hope Sq. Leader D.S. will come back soon.

Anil Kumar Baggan said...

I hope the brave iaf air worries sq. leader D.S. Tomar will come back soon. I pray to god for his long life.