Family and friends of an Alberta couple missing on a 2017 flight from Penticton to Edmonton are converging in the North Okanagan to resume the search.
And they’re looking for help.
Dominic Neron, 28, and his girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault, a mother of three, departed in Neron’s single-engine Mooney airplane at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, from Penticton Airport on their way to Edmonton.
They never arrived.
The plane was reported missing at 10:40 p.m. that night.
Originally, the search for the pair centred around Revelstoke, where a ping from Neron’s cellphone signal was last picked up 20 kilometres north of Revelstoke. But new clues suggest the plane may have gone down near the Mabel Lake area.
“We are seeking assistance from the community in the way of search and rescue expertise, including dogs, other aids, aviation, volunteers by foot, accommodation, food, etc.,” said Neron’s sister, Tammy, who arrived in the North Okanagan from her Victoria home Monday. Her mom is arriving later this week.
“You can never have enough help.”
Tammy said a pilot is required to file a flight path, and part of that is showing other airports to land at if encountering bad weather on the flight. Dominic Neron listed Revelstoke and Salmon Arm, an airport he’d landed at before, on his flight plan.
Neron’s family started talking with airports and hit paydirt when talking with a man at the Mabel Lake Airport who said he saw Dominic’s plane coming in from the north on Nov. 25 and was heading west, but lost sight of him. There were no other planes flying at that time.
A hunter in the Hupel area, near Kingfisher, reported hearing a loud crash at around 5 p.m.
“He said he’s been a hunter a long time, he knows what a gunshot sounds like and the first thing he thought of when he heard the loud noise was that it was a plane crash,” said Tammy.
Neron’s family hopes their latest efforts will bring an end to their searching.
“We just want to find answers to the many questions we’ve had these past six months,” said Tammy. “We just want to get closure.”
If you can help Neron and her family, call Tammy at 1-780-405-7649 or firstname.lastname@example.org.