VIDEO: Nearly 20 planes search for aircraft that went missing en route to Kamloops
Bad Video Embed Code

VIDEO: Nearly 20 planes search for aircraft that went missing en route to Kamloops

The overdue aircraft carrying a young man and woman failed to arrive on Thursday morning.

UPDATE – MONDAY 12PM:

The search for a missing plane that took off from Cranbrook last week is ongoing, as military and civilian search and rescue personnel continue to scour the Kootenay region.

A Piper Warrior aircraft carrying Alex Simons and Sidney Robillard took off from Cranbrook on Thursday evening en route to Kamloops, however, the aircraft never arrived.

The 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox has been utilizing Buffalo aircraft and Cormorant helicopters and are being aided by PEP Air civilian volunteers.

Major Stefan Szkwarek, the deputy commander of the air task force, says inclement weather over the weekend hampered the search efforts, but adds that the 442 is using every resource it can to conduct the search.

“One of the issues is the mountaintops,” Szkwarek said. “if the caps are at 10,000 feet and the clouds start at 6,000 feet, we can’t search the mountains adequately visually, so we have to go and return to those areas afterwards, so it prolongs the search.

“We’re doing absolutely everything we can here and everyone is pushing to their limits to find this airplane.”

With no cloud cover on Monday, SAR personnel are hoping ramp up their visual sweeps.

“Time is of the essence, obviously,” Szkwarek said. “We’re working as quickly and as safely as we can. It is a 150-nautical mile track that we’re centring on between Cranbrook and Kelowna and the search area is 10 nautical miles on each side of that track.”

A CP-140 Aurora has also conducted a sensory sweep of the area to search for any signals, but that hasn’t turned up anything. A 406 beacon signal was reported, however, it is very weak and the military can’t direction-find it, Szkwarek said.

“It could be a red herring at this point, but we’re leaving no stone unturned on that and if we pick up on a harder ping, then we will absolutely prosecute it,” he added.

The missing aircraft, with call letters CGDTK, was piloted by Simons after taking off from Lethbridge early Thursday morning. Thunderstorm conditions were prevalent in the area when the aircraft took off from the Canadian Rockies International Airport later that day.

After failing to report in Kamloops, a search was launched on Friday, supported by by the 442 squadron and civilian volunteers.

UPDATE – SUNDAY 2PM:

Nearly 20 aircraft are still searching for a two people missing after a flight from Lethbridge, AB, to Kamloops went awry. The Sunday afternoon search team includes 1oo military personnel, more than 10 civilian volunteer aircraft, three Buffalos and two cormorant helicopters, and a CP 140 Aurora to help with electronic search. Organized searches are ongoing throughout the day.

Alex Simons, of Kamloops, and Sidney Robillard, of Alberta, both 21, were travelling were travelling Thursday morning from Cranbook to Kamloops in a single engine piper.

“It’s vast search area for us, so we’re starting from Cranbook and go all the way to Kamloops,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Bryn Elliott, Air Task Force Commander for Kelowna area. “That was his intended track, so we go either side of track and then we search systematically to make sure that we’re hitting every angle, every piece of ground that he could possibly be in.”

The searchers picked up some signals from a 406 Beacon, which is an emergency beacon, but Elliott said that the signal was weak and not confirmed to be from the missing plane.

“We’re in the search and rescue business so we’re going to search as long as we can to cover all of the area,” Elliott added.

UPDATE – SUNDAY 9AM

A 14-plane air search is continuing Sunday for two people who went missing during a flight from Lethbridge to Kamloops on Thursday.

According to 19 Wing Comox public affairs Capt.Dennis Power, the search headquarters have now been switched to the Kelowna Flying Club.

“Today we have four military aircraft continuing the search and nine or 10 aircraft owned by volunteers from the Civil Aviation Search and Rescue Association,” said Power, noting that the search is being coordinated by 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of Comox.

“We will be searching all day until last light,” said Powers. “There’s no ground search and rescue because the search area is so wide.”

Search efforts have yet to locate any sign of the aircraft. Anyone with any information is asked to call the tip line at 250-331-8528.

FRIDAY EVENING:

A search was launched Friday evening after an aircraft carrying a young couple went missing as they were heading to Kamloops.

Alex Simons, of Kamloops, and Sidney Robillard, of Alberta, left Lethbridge at about 9 a.m. the day before in a Piper Warrior aircraft, RCMP said.

They stopped at Canadian Rockies International Airport near Cranbrook airport for re-fuelling at about 5 p.m., which was the last known location before the plane was reported missing, according to Lt. Navy Greg Menzies of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre. Thunderstorm conditions were prevalent in the area at the time.

Rescue crews conducted an air search near Cranbrook on Friday, Menzies said, but bad weather and the mountainous terrain proved for a difficult search.

“There are 192 nautical miles from Cranbrook to Kamloops,” Menzies said.

Search crews are looking along the best known flight path between the two locations, as well as an additional 15 nautical miles on either side of the route’s trajectory.

As of Friday evening, local search crews were on standby at CRIA, said Allister Pedersen, with Cranbrook PEPAir, a volunteer air search and rescue organization under direction of Canadian Armed Forces, and the intensive air search was to get underway early Saturday, with both local and military air crew.

If Simons and Robillard, both 21, are not found by the end of the day, the search will continue Saturday with additional air support, Menzies said.

The Piper aircraft call letters are CGDTK.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

VIDEO: Nearly 20 planes search for aircraft that went missing en route to Kamloops

Just Posted

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Most Read