After an exhaustive search for a small, private plane missing since September 14, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria (JRCC Victoria) has made the difficult decision to suspend their search today as of 15:00 PST and transfer the case to the RCMP.
Over the last seven days, Royal Canadian Air Force and CASARA aircraft have flown approximately 320 hours in challenging weather conditions, covering more than 14,000 square kilometres in the areas surrounding the last known location and filed flight plan of the missing plane. The JRCC Victoria acknowledges the support received from CASARA and the BC RCMP, as well as the information provided by NORAD and Telus, which greatly assisted in the search efforts.
Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the missing pilot and passenger during this extremely difficult time.
At approximately 2:00pm on 14 September, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (Pacific) was notified that a small, private plane with 2 persons on board travelling from Edmonton, Alberta to Chilliwack, British Columbia was overdue.
A CC-130 Hercules fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft was dispatched and conducted a search based on the flight plan filed by the pilot and information gathered from air traffic control. A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter later joined the search. At the time, a low ceiling presented challenges to the search.
On the morning of 15 September, the CC-130 was relieved by a CC-115 Buffalo fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft and the search was joined by 7 aircraft from CASARA, the Civil Aviation Search And Rescue Association.
The search is centred on the Highway 5 corridor between Chilliwack and Valemount, British Columbia.
A low ceiling in some parts of the search area is creating a challenge to the search.
UPDATE 16 September
Today a second CH-149 Cormorant SAR helicopter from Comox has joined the search. That brings the total to 3 RCAF aircraft and 7 CASARA aircraft.
The search continues along the Hwy 5 corridor between Chilliwack and Valemount but there is a focus on the Clearwater to Valemount portion based on radar and cell tower information.
The aircraft is a White Vans RV6, 2 seat private plane.
Weather, as usual for this region, is a factor. The search area is experiencing occasional low ceilings, low visibility and light rain.
UPDATE 17 September
The search continues with 1 CC-115 Buffalo fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft and 1 CH-149 Cormorant helicopter on station this morning. They will be joined this afternoon by another Buffalo and Cormorant.
8 CASARA aircraft are also engaged in the search.
The search area is in the Hwy 5 corridor between Kamloops and Valemount with a further focus on the Blue River area based on the filed flight plan, cell tower, and radar information.
Low ceilings and low visibility continue to present a challenge to the search.
UPDATE 18-19 September
The search continues with two CC-115 Buffalo fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft and two CH-149 Cormorant helicopter on scene this morning. There are also six CASARA aircraft engaged in the search.
The search area remains the same today, focusing on the Blue River area between Kamloops and Valemount based on the filed flight plan, cell tower and radar information.
The weather is improving with higher ceilings, increased visibility and light winds expected today.
UPDATE 20 September
The search continues today with one CC-115 Buffalo aircraft, one CH-149 Cormorant helicopter, five CASARA aircraft and one RCMP helicopter on scene this morning.
The search area remains the same, concentrating on the region surrounding the Hwy 5 corridor between Kamloops and Valemount.
Weather conditions are good this morning but could deteriorate during the day as a weather front is expected to bring rain, snow and ice to higher elevations.