Wreckage of missing Coast Guard aircraft recovered

Chennai, July 13 (IANS) A large part of the wreckage of an Indian Coast Guard aircraft that went missing last month has been recovered from the Bay of Bengal but there is no sign of its three crew members, the defence ministry said on Monday.

In a statement issued here, the ministry said that more than a month after it went missing, the aircraft’s wreckage was found at depth of 990 metres 17 nautical miles south east of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu.

The recovered wreckage includes the flight data recorder, the cockpit voice recorder, two engines, propellers, tail, tail cone, parts of the airframe, parts of the fuselage and part of the landing gear.

These were recovered from the sea bed by Reliance Industries Ltd vessel Olympic Canyon’s remotely operated vehicle.

Meanwhile there is no news of the front portion of the aircraft, including the cockpit, and the search for it still continues.

The Dornier aircraft with pilot Deputy Commandant Vidyasagar, co-pilot, Deputy Commandant Subash Suresh and navigator/observer M.K. Soni went missing on the night of June 8 while returning to its base at Chennai airport after a surveillance sortie along the Tamil Nadu coast and Palk Bay.

An official statement said the last contact with the aircraft was made at 9 p.m. on June 8.

The last known location of the aircraft as per Trichy radar was off Karaikal in Puducherry, where it was tracked till 9.23 p.m., 95 nautical miles south of Chennai.

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