Weather, terrain pose challenges for B.C. crews searching for small plane - InfoNews

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Weather, terrain pose challenges for B.C. crews searching for small plane

CH-149 Cormorant helicopter.
Image Credit: Contributed/19 Wing Comox
November 28, 2017 - 1:00 PM

VICTORIA - Low cloud and heavy snowfall haven't stopped the search for a small plane with two people aboard in southeastern British Columbia.

Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokeswoman Katelyn Moores says the search area has been narrowed to a region 18 kilometres outside Revelstoke.

Moores says the grid was refined based on more complete information from radar and the cellphone tower that picked up a signal from the pilot's phone at about the same time the plane was reported missing on Saturday.

She says a Buffalo aircraft is flying over the most likely flight path of the missing plane, while two Parks Canada ground search-and- rescue teams focus on specific locations northeast of Revelstoke.

The plane was on a flight from Penticton, B.C., to Edmonton when it vanished.

CTV News is reporting the pilot’s name is Dominic Neron, a 28-year-old journeyman electrician from Spruce Grove, Alta., and his girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault, who is 31.

Moores says search efforts are expected to continue despite heavy snow.

"It's very mountainous there and densely forested, so those are the two biggest challenges today, the weather and the terrain," she said Tuesday.

It is an area Eldon Gjesdal, a pilot who sold Neron’s plane to him in the spring, said is challenging to navigate.

“It’s just very rugged. The valleys are very closed in and if it’s the Rogers Pass in the Revelstoke area, it's rough terrain,” Gjesdal said.

Gjesdal said Neron bought his 1963 Mooney from him after flying for about two years. He eventually wanted to get his commercial licence.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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