The Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft, which was on a routine training sortie, crashed about 25 nautical miles south-west off Goa coast last night. The Navy has ordered a Board of Inquiry into the crash.
A full-scale search and rescue operation involving nine ships and few aircraft was launched, the Navy said. "One survivor has been rescued. Search is on to locate two more officers -- a pilot and an observer," Navy spokesperson Captain D K Sharma said in New Delhi.
The rescued officer, Commander Nikhil Joshi, has been seriously injured in the crash but is stable, Sharma said. The Naval air station at Goa lost communication with the aircraft at 10.02 PM, a statement from Navy said. The aircraft is feared to have ditched soon thereafter, it said. Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan has rushed to Goa to take stock of the situation.
Co pilot Sub Lt Nagori and observer Lt Kiran Shekhawat is still missing. Navy has deployed nine ships, helicopeters and planes off goa to look out for the missing officers. The aircraft was reportedly on a low level flying operation. The search and rescue operation is likely to continue for another 72 hours atleast. Crashed plane belonged to 310 Cobra sqn of Goa-based INS Hansa. According to reports, first lot of debris have now been recovered by the naval ships. Search is on for finding other part of debris.
HM-673 Indian Air Force Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft.