CHENNAI: With the sonar locating beacon expected to fade in the coming days, the hope of locating missing Indian Coast Guard Dornier is fast diminishing, increasing anxiety among the families of the three missing crew members.
Their families are urging the authorities to seek international help to locate their kin. There were moments of hope during the past 28 days, but there has been no breakthrough in the search efforts, despite the deployment of a Naval submarine and a hydrographic survey by Naval vessel INS Sandhayak, among other attempts.
With the families of three crew members anxious and worried, it is learnt that the Indian government had asked the High Commission of India at Colombo to seek assistance from Sri Lankan Navy for a prompt feedback on any sighting of the crew or aircraft.
Seeking an end to the uncertainty soon, Padma, mother of co-pilot deputy commandant Subash Suresh, said, “They should have sought international support. The sonar locating beacon could transmit signals for only up to 30 days. They should act fast.”
“Till now, we have not got any results. There has been no news about anything. I want to see my son’s face,” said Padma.
Inspector General SP Sharma, Commander, Indian Coast Guard (East) told ‘Express’ that the sonar on the aircraft can emit signals for a minimum of 30 days. “We do expect that it also has a maximum time span and we are positive to locate it by then,” he said.
“The Flight Data Recorder of the aircraft also emits signals which can be picked up by the search and rescue team,” he added.
He also ruled out theories that the aircraft was not airworthy as it had an old emergency locator transmitter (ELT) who’s signal can’t be picked up by satellites.
It is said that the aircraft’s ELT can transmit three different analog frequencies. They can transmit analog frequencies of 121.5MHZ, 243MHZ and 406 MHZ.
There are two types of ELTs. The older models transmit over 121.5 megahertz, an analog frequency, while newer beacons use 406 megahertz and broadcast digitally. If the aircraft transmits frequency below 406, it is unlikely to be picked up, according to Cospas-Sarsat, the International Satellite System for Search and Rescue.