The family members have shared the details with authorities.

Ray of hope for AN-32 Crew members family say his phone is activeFile photo
news Airline Safety Saturday, July 30, 2016 - 07:15

Days after the Indian Air Force's AN-32 aircraft went missing, a family of one of the men on board claimed that the phone of Raghuvir Verma was ringing for a short time.

India Today reported:

The family claims that his Airtel number was 'on' and it rang a few times after the family kept dialing it several times over the last two days. They also claim, the 'last seen' status on his messenger app was showing July 26, four days after the flight went missing.

The report adds that this incident has given renewed hope to the family, who have shared all the details with the authorities.

Reporting that Raghuvir's mother was the first one to make this realization, News18 quotes his father as saying, "It was she who first found out that the phone was ringing last evening. We did not pay much attention to her and thought it to be a rant of a depressed mind. But when we called that number which remained switched off since the plane disappeared, it was ringing. Miracles happen, don’t they?”

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday told Parliament that India has sought help from the U.S. to check if their satellites captured any signals from the missing AN-32 aircraft, while noting there was very little possibility that sabotage played any role.

Clarifiying on the missing aircraft in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said he was ‘disturbed’ at the aircraft's sudden disappearance, which has left even the experts ‘puzzled’.

"I too am disturbed by this sudden disappearance. I spoke with many air chiefs, other senior air force personnel, they are also puzzled by the sudden disappearance," he said.

Assuring the house that the aircraft had ‘adequate lifetime’ left, Parrikar added that maximum efforts are being made to reduce accidents and that any aircraft unfit for flying was not being flown.

He said that the aircraft "was almost at the end of the range of the passive radar. In effect, in another 10 minutes, it would have crossed the limit of the passive radar. There is an area around 150-200 nautical miles where there is no radar coverage either from Chennai or Port Blair." 

He also said that the aircraft had undergone its first overhaul, and had already flown for 179 hours after that. The pilot had flown for over 500 hours on the route.

"So it is not that something new had happened during the flight," he said.

"Only thing which was recorded was because of a cumulonimbus cloud which normally no aviator will like to enter into because it is a very charged and heavy cloud... they (pilots) said we are deviating to the right," Parrikar shared, adding that this happened 7-8 minutes before the plane went off radar.

"At the time of coming down, it actually tilted to the left and descended very fast from 23,000 feet in few seconds. Then it disappeared from the radar.

"Two things happened, it was at the age of radar signal where you don't get very active radar signal, you just keep track of it. There is no SOS, no transmission at any frequency, it just disappeared... That is the worrying part," he said.

He also said that no signal from the emergency beacon locator has been tracked, but added that that it was "difficult that it will be actually activated" if the aircraft dives inside water. 

"In the earlier Coast Guard case (Dornier crash) also, it had not activated," he said.

 

Inputs IANS
 

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