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Military still searching for missing aircraft

A week has passed since two people in a two-seater aircraft were last reported leaving Cranbrook.
A Cormorant helicopter prepares to take off from the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook as the Canadian military continues to search for a missing aircraft.

The search for a missing aircraft that last took off in Cranbrook en route to Kamloops has entered the seventh day, as military and civilian volunteers continue to scour BC Interior.

Members of the 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of a military base in Comox are searching the 150 nautical miles between Cranbrook and Kamloops for a two-seater Piper Warrior aircraft that was reported missing on June 9th.

The Piper Warrior, which was piloted by Alex Simons, 21, and accompanied by Sydney Robillard, took off from Lethbridge in the morning of June 8th before landing and refuelling in Cranbrook and continuing on to Kamloops.

Though the search has been underway for nearly a week, there isn’t much to update other than the military and civilian volunteers with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) are doing what they can to cover nearly 150-nautical miles of mountainous terrain.

In the Cranbrook region, weather conditions has been inconsistent, which has made the search more difficult for authorities. If there is cloud cover, searches have to return to the area when the skies clear to do a full visual sweep.

While the military has used the resources of the 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron — which include fixed wing Buffalo aircraft and Cormorant helicopters — civilian volunteers are also helping as spotters on search and rescue aircraft as well as in their own private aircraft.

Under the umbrella of CASARA, those civilian volunteers have kept, on average, a dozen aircraft in the skies to aid the military with the searches.

Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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