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.

Just Posted

Prince Rupert’s ferry issue is a North Coast issue, MLA Rice

Prince Rupert not alone in fight to save ferry to Ketchikan: Alaskan Rep. Ortiz

Brand new vessel for Massett Marine Rescue

The Tagwaal was unveiled to the public Sept. 6

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Council Briefs: Village of Queen Charlotte

Child care and clean-ups on the agenda

Power restored to 120,000 customers after northern B.C. transmission failure

Lightning is suspected to be the cause of the outage, says BC Hydro

On the Wing: Small Yellow Flying Things

by Margo Hearne Distance doesn’t seem to deter migrating birds; they travel… Continue reading

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Most Read