Missing MH370: Indian Air Force planes did 10-hour search, avoided cyclone

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Two Indian Air Force planes on search-and-rescue operations for flight MH370 each flew 10-hour missions Sunday despite harsh weather conditions due to Cyclone Gillian in the Indian Ocean.

A statement by the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur said the IAF's P8-I Poseidon and C-130J Super Hercules carried out sorties, avoiding the tropical cyclone.

"The crew skillfully skirted the cyclone to reach the allotted search areas, without jeopardizing safety of the aircraft," it said.

It added that the two aircraft, which arrived in Malaysia on March 21, have onboard radar giving its respective crew situational awareness about weather conditions.

The statement said upon their return to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang, the crew were received by High Commissioner Shri T.S. Tirumurti and the Subang base commander Brig Gen Abdul Manaf Md Zaid.

According to a statement by the Indian Government's Press Information Bureau, India's headquarters Integrated Defence Staff were in touch with the Indian Defence Attache at the High Commission and was coordinating operations as well.

The Star reported Monday that Cyclone Gillian was expected to rage in the South Indian Ocean for the next two days, and may weaken considerably by March 28.