An Indian Air Force AN-32 in June 9, 2009 had crashed near Tato in West Siang, which is near the location of the recent crash.
The previous crash site would also have been around the same elevation as the present one, which is 12,000 feet.
The 2009 aircraft was also transporting the same number of people when it had taken off from Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground at the place where the aircraft in the present incident was to land & was headed to Assam’s Mohanbari Air Force Station when it disappeared.
The court of inquiry into the 2009 crash concluded that it was due to human error, as the pilots apparently got disoriented after entering some cloudsand then banged into a mountain.
In the present crash, however, the IAF will try to retrieve the aircraft’s black box to ascertain what went wrong.
Mountaineering teams of the IAF, army & civilians are being formed & will be sent to the crash site by helicopters to look for survivors.
The IAF is trying to determine the status of the 13 IAF personnel- 8 crew members, including 6 officers, & 5 passengers.
There is currently no effort to reach the site by road.
An IAF Cheetah helicopter & the army’s Advanced Light Helicopter reached the crash site.
Due to the high elevation & dense forest, helicopters could not land next to the crash site, IAF said.
However, nearest landing site has been identified & the rescue operation by helicopters will commence on Wednesday morning.
Ground forces will continue to reach the crash site during the night.
On Tuesday, an Mi-17 helicopter spotted the wreckage, 16 KMs North of Lipo in North East of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12000 ft.