There is a major debate across social media following the search for the missing person conducted on board Maldivian Aviation Academy’s Tecnam.
To answer the question of whether the Tecnam can actually be used for the search of the mission person; The answer is yes. This answer also varies depending on the mission.
The Indian Navy Dornier Do228 operated in the Maldives with MNDF is a dedicated multi-engine maritime patrol aircraft hence in comparison to a smaller multi-engine Tecnam P2006T aircraft used at MAA for student training, the Dornier is the clear winner in terms of operational capacity.
The MAA Tecnam is currently based in Gan International Airport at the location of the missing person and the required mission is to operate a search flight at a low altitude just beside GAN which the aircraft is perfectly cable.
MNDF personals involved in such operations will have experience and knowledge required to calculate and determine areas of search. The pilots at MAA who are instructors and examiners would have sufficient skills to operate such a flight operating in search areas required by MNDF.
Through collaborative effort such missions can be conducted and have been conducted even before in Maldives with the assistance of airlines using aircraft such as the Seaplane Twin Otter.
However, if a mission requires travel to further distances and operate long duration in significant weather the MAA Tecnam may not be fit for the role in this case where the Dornier will be the better fit.
Additionally, the same Tecnam aircraft can in fact be modified to operate such missions. The manufacturer Tecnam provides modifications with Radar, electro optics, lidar, cameras, electronic warfare, communication suite, automatic identification system, direction finder, and anti submarine warfare to be equipped for special missions to meet operator needs and is also used in military operations.
This is rather common as different aircraft manufacturer provides various types of modifications to aircraft that are commonly designed and used for commercial flight operations or training to be utilized for specific operations.
Ultimately Maldives needs such a dedicated service and the aviation industry has resoruces and professionally experienced people to launch and sustain such an operation. Whether this operation is most efficient and most beneficial through the assistance and collaboration with Indian Navy is a different discussion.