Ekanath Shetty from Guruvayanakere on Board Missing IAF Plane?
Beltangady: A pall of suspense, uncertainty and stress surrounds the house Ekanath Shetty, located opposite Namma Mane Havyaka Bhavan here.
A phone call received by his family members has indicated that he was on board the IAF aircraft which has gone missing since the morning of Friday, July 22.
Shetty, who had served in the Indian Army earlier later shifted to the Defence Services Corps (DSC) of the Indian Air Force.
He had recently come home on leave and had returned to resume duty only four days ago. His wife teaches at one of the SDM institutions in Ujire.
The AN-32 aircraft, with 29 crew and personnel on board, had taken off the Tambaram airbase at 8-30 am. It was scheduled to land at Port Blair in Andamans at 11-30 am. But soon after taking off, around 8-46 am, it lost contact with the control point. At that stage, it was flying at 280 kms per hour at an altitude of 23,000 ft.
Soon after the aircraft went missing, a massive search operation was launched, by pressing into service nine aircraft, sixteen ships and a submarine.
Shetty had told his family a day earlier that he might not travel on Friday as he had to undergo a minor surgery. But since the news of the plane going missing, he has not been available for contact.
Nor has the IAF released an official list of the personnel on board.