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CH-149 Cormorant helicopter searches over Nelson Sunday for missing plane

CH-149 Cormorant helicopter was seen flying over the Nelson area Sunday. The Nelson Daily photo

The Nelson area witnessed Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) search and rescue (SAR) helicopter CH-149 Cormorant flying over the region Sunday as the search for missing plane with a B.C. man and Alberta woman continues.

Pilot Alex Simons, 21, of Kamloops, and Sydney Robillard, 24, of Lethbridge, were travelling from Lethbridge to Kamloops in a small Piper Warrior aircraft Thursday.

The plane refuelled in Cranbrook during the day, but never arrived at its Kamloops destination.

"On June 8, 2017 at 6:22 p.m the RCMP Southeast District Operational Communications Center received a report that a small aircraft had departed from Cranbrook airport around 3:02 pm and that it did not arrive at its destination in Kamloops," said RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

"At that time the JRCC was notified. It was established that the airplane had initially left from Lethbridge, Alta at 09:35 a.m. The Aircraft did stop at Cranbrook airport for re-fuelling, which is the last known point of contact with the aircraft and occupants. The Piper aircraft call letters are CGDTK."

Reports say as many as 15 aircraft are searching the area, including three military planes and two military helicopters from CFB Como.

Sunday, the CH-149 Cormorant staged search of Kootenay Lake region, stretching west over mountains in South Slocan.

Low-lying clouds during the weekend made it difficult to search the mountainous area of the due to the many high mountain ranges between Cranbrook and Kamloops.

The CH-149 Cormorant stopped to refuel in Nelson Sunday.