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

North Delta crime beat, week of June 27

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

South Delta crime beat, week of June 27

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Surrey officer-impersonation scam continues ‘almost daily’

Police reiterate warning that demands for Bitcoin in exchange for waived charges are fraudulent

South Surrey veteran honoured by South Korea as Ambassador for Peace

Medal presented to Donald McClellan an ‘expression of gratitude’ for service during Korean War

COVID-19: Update on the pandemic for Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 9: Canada ill-prepared for second wave: report

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Vancouver double homicide leads to arrest in Harrison Hot Springs Wednesday

VPD and RCMP tracked dumped vehicle connected to killings to Chilliwack

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

Most Read