Missing IAF AN32: Co-pilot Pankaj Nandel’s family hopeful of his return
Rohtak, July 25 : Celebrations turned into darkness for family members of co-pilot of the missing Indian Air Force's AN-32 aircraft with 29 people on board Pankaj Nandel, as he was supposed to tie the knot soon. Father of Pankaj, Krishna Nandel said they are hopeful that their son will safely return home. "I have been in contact with his seniors and his colleagues. Till now there has been no information about him. I am sure he will come back. Anything can happen anytime. We are hopeful, and we know he will come back safe," he told the media here. Meanwhile, the search operation for the missing AN32 aircraft of Indian Air Force, code named "Operation Talash," continued for the fourth day today in the Bay of Bengal. An international safety network has been activated to alert the merchant ships passing by the zone of search operation to look out for any survivors or the debris. The Andaman and Nicobar Command of the defence forces are keeping a watch for it even beyond the search zone. As part of the procedure, a formal complaint about the missing aircraft has been registered with the Selaiyur police station in Chennai by the Air Force authorities. India's largest ever search operation over the sea to trace the missing twin-engined AN32 aircraft is getting imageries of the search area from the ISRO through its radar imaging satellite RISAT. The Indian Mission Control Centre of the space agency responsible for Satellite Aided Search and Rescue in the region is supplementing the Operation Talash by offering its services. Seventeen naval and coast guard ships are mounting day and night watch and various military aircraft have made 28 sorties till last evening over the search zone. However, no clues on the whereabouts of the aircraft are yet known and the sharp look out continues unabated.