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

Halloween Howl to kick off festivities in Maple Ridge

Norman Foote concert with Yennadon elementary choir

Angel highlights the benefits of volunteerism at Ridge Meadows Hospital

Yvonne and John McDonald are nine-year volunteers at the hospital

Celebrate the salmon’s return in Maple Ridge

Return of the Salmon put on by KEEPS

UNTRENDING: Preparing kids for a digital life

Entrepreneur, speaker, and columnist Vicki McLeod offers some insight into children and cyberspace

Supercars in Pitt Meadows for Aidan’s Cup

Event raises $40,000 for Children’s Wish Foundation

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Man killed in Richmond had ‘no record of criminality,’ IHIT says

Stephen Chong, 58, was found dead in his business

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

Most Read