Massive aerial search by Indian Air Force (IAF) and army over high mountains of Lahual and Spiti failed to trace wreckage of a MiG-29 jet that crashed in Himachal Pradesh two days ago.
Two MiG-29 planes of the western air command had taken off from Adampur airport near Jalandhar on Tuesday night. However, only one returned to the air base. The missing aircraft was flying over the mountains of Spiti valley adjoining Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir when pilot squadron leader DS Tomar reportedly lost communication with air traffic control at 8.30 pm.
Indian Air Force and army helicopters conducted search operations along high passes and mountains of Spiti and adjoining areas of tribal bharmour in Chamba district. The IAF Cheetah helicopter recced 15000 feet high Mountains, Chobia pass connecting Pangi and valleys in Udaipur town of Lahul. A few helicopters also flew over the passes connecting Ladakh and Spiti.
"About eight to ten helicopters were pressed into service for conducting aerial survey. Four planes also searched the mountains" said an Air Force official, who camped in Kullu after completion of the search operation.
IAF team arrived at Bharmour in morning to pick up local policemen and mountaineers for conducting aerial survey. "Search operation in Bharmour area was abandoned in the forenoon as helicopters were unable to trace the plane," additional deputy commissioner, Bharmour Neeraj Kumar told Hindustan Times over phone.
" Nothing could be located in the search," deputy commissioner of Lahual and Spiti Rajeev Shankar said while he confirmed that the four Indian Air Force helicopters conducted searchoperations in Lahual and spiti district. "Tough terrains made the operation difficult,"said Shankar.
Air Force officials said now the search has been focused on areas along Ladakah and Himachal.