June 14, 2017
COPA Volunteers Aid Search
Dozens of COPA members in B.C.’s Interior have joined the effort to search for a young pilot and his girlfriend who went missing on a flight from Cranbrook to Kamloops last week. Alex Simons, 21, of Kamloops and passenger Sidney Robillard, also 21, began the flight in a Piper Warrior in Lethbridge and stopped for fuel in Cranbrook last Thursday. They never arrived in Kamloops, triggering a major search. Simons is a new pilot and had about 60 hours when he left Lethbridge. The mountainous terrain and abundant snowpack on the route of travel is making the search difficult.
About 20 aircraft and dozens of volunteers, many of them members of Canadian Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) are helping RCAF search and rescue aircraft and personnel look for the young couple. A rescue base has been established at Kelowna International Airport. Spotty weather has hampered the search but clear skies are forecast for the balance of this week.