New Delhi: The blackbox of the ill-fated AN-32 aircraft that crashed in Arunachal Pradesh with 13 personnel on board has suffered damage and an investigation by the Air Force to find out the actual cause of the crash may take more time.
"The blackbox was recovered and brought out of the crash site almost three days ago. It has been damaged in the crash and we are analysing whether the data from it can be retrieved by the HAL or it will have to be sent to some other agency," defence sources told ANI.
The sources said that prima facie it seemed that the accident happened due to navigational error but the exact causes would be known only after a detailed probe is carried out into the incident.
The analysis is still on and the focus of the Air Force at the moment is to get the mortal remains of the 13 personnel back from the crash site.
"The air effort from our side has been increased in terms of chopper deployment for getting the mortal remains of the personnel back from the mountain top where even sustaining our rescue team members has become a big task," sources said.
Eastern Air Commander Air Marshal RK Mathur's scheduled visit to Bangladesh has also been called off as he is busy overseeing operations to retrieve the mortal remains.
The black box of the plane was recovered by a team of mountaineers that was sent to the site on June 9.
The AN-32 aircraft went missing on June 3 after taking off from Assam's Jorhat. The aircraft was headed for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh when it lost contact with ground authorities at around 1 pm.
After a massive search and rescue operation for eight days, during which assets from several agencies were deployed, the wreckage of the aircraft was located by a Mi-17 chopper. The wreckage was located 16 km north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh at an elevation of 12,000 feet.