Sydney Robillard and Alex Simons were reported missing last June when their Piper aircraft, which left from Cranbrook, did not make it to the Okanagan.

Relatives to launch private search for plane missing in B.C. since 2017

Kamloops pilot Alex Simons and his girlfriend Sydney Robillard, of Lethbridge, Alta.

Family members of a young couple missing in southeastern British Columbia for nearly two years hope a renewed search will bring some closure.

Kamloops pilot Alex Simons and his girlfriend Sydney Robillard, of Lethbridge, Alta., haven’t been seen since June 8, 2017, when Simons took off from Cranbrook on the final leg of a flight to Kamloops from Lethbridge.

The search for the pair, both in their 20s, and their Piper Warrior has covered nearly 40,000 square kilometres of rugged terrain, mostly in the areas of St. Mary Valley or Redding Creek, northwest of Cranbrook.

But a relative of Simons, Natalie Lindgren, says new information from a local pilot has shifted attention to the area of Lost Dog Valley, north of Kimberley.

Lindgren is organizing a three-day search of that region, set to begin May 8.

READ MORE: 1 year after vanishing from the sky near Cranbrook, B.C. pilot is remembered

Weather near Cranbrook was deteriorating as Simons and Robillard took off at around 3 p.m., and Lindgren says the pilot remembers seeing a Piper Warrior fly over his house at about 3:15, in a line that would have put the plane close to the Lost Dog Valley area.

“It was confirmed with Cranbrook flight services that there was not another Piper Warrior out at that time,” says Lindgren.

She’s seeking volunteers for the search, which she says will focus on a lower elevation area of Lost Dog Valley that was not initially checked due to poor weather conditions.

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

“It’s a very dangerous environment,” says Lindgren.

“We are looking for people with search and rescue experience, with drones that are able to capture pictures, and also planes. Any civil aircraft that can go out and fly, that’s fantastic.”

The weather, aircraft performance and experience of the young pilot all make the valley a likely choice as Simons tried to thread his way through worsening conditions to reach Kamloops, says Lindgren.

“That really leads us to believe that that’s a high-probability area,” she says. (CHBZ)

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Terrace RCMP respond to firearms call on South Side

One person arrested without incident

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine office in Terrace is now open to the public

The office has been closed since March 17 due to COVID-19

New technology is helping battle avalanches near Stewart

The automated avalanche detection system just finished a successful first season

BC Hydro studying new power connection in northwest B.C.

Would supply hydro-electric power to planned LNG plant at Kitimat

City increasing maximum business license fine

Maximum unlikely to ever be used, according to City

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Most Read