IAF intercepts Georgian cargo aircraft coming from Pakistan, questioning of pilots underway
Amid strained relationship between the neighbouring countries, a cargo plane coming from Pakistan's air space was on Friday forced to land at Jaipur airport by Indian Air Force jets, ANI reported.
The An-12 aircraft of Georgia, after getting airborne for Delhi from Karachi, deviated from its scheduled flight path and entered Indian air space from an unscheduled point in North Gujarat.
— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
"An unknown aircraft entered Indian Air Space in North Gujarat sector at 1515 h with its IFF ‘on’. The aircraft did not follow the authorised air traffic service route and was not responding to any Radio calls from Indian controlling agencies," the IAF said.
Since air routes in the area were closed due to the geopolitical situation between India and Pakistan, the aircraft's entry from an unscheduled point led to the Indian Air Force scrambling its air defence interceptors and they approached towards the unknown aircraft for investigation.
"The Air Defence interceptor on operational readiness was scrambled and vectored towards the unknown aircraft for investigation. On visual contact, the aircraft was identified as a Georgian AN-12 flying at 27000 feet," the IAF added.
"The aircraft neither responded on international distress frequency nor to visual signals during interception. However, when challenged, the aircraft responded and informed that it was a non-scheduled An-12 aircraft that had got airborne from Tbilisi (Georgia) for Delhi via Karachi."
The aircraft was shadowed and forced to land at Jaipur for necessary investigation, the IAF said. It was escorted to Jaipur by the Indian Air Force and after it landed, its two pilots were being questioned by security agencies.
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