On June 8th, 2017 my son Alex Simons and his girlfriend Sydney Robillard were flying from Cranbrook BC to Kamloops BC on their way to visit family and friends. My name is Matthew and on June 9th, 2017 my girlfriend Natalie and I received a call at our home in Lethbridge, AB, from Alex's flight school. The plane that Alex had rented from the school had not arrived at Kamloops. Our hearts dropped. It was the first we had heard about their trip to Kamloops. Then we received the call from search and rescue. There are moments in your life when, in that very second, you know everything is about to change forever. This was that moment.
The Emergency Beacon on the aircraft failed. This set the course for a difficult search.
On the 11th day they reduced the search efforts and on the 12th day it was done. Alex and Sydney were never found. It was then handed over to the RCMP as a missing persons case.
Resumed Search - We are Finally Going Back
The search area we are going into is based on key information from an eye witness who gave his account to search and rescue back in 2017. It was investigated by search and rescue but they didn't find anything.
BUT...the mountains make it difficult to spot a downed aircraft, just because you don't find them doesn't mean they aren't there.
He contacted us to tell us “I haven’t forgotten about what I saw that day. I never will”.
As an airline pilot, his credible eyewitness account of having seen Alex and Sydney flying at a low elevation over his property, was without a doubt compelling and intelligent and gave us the first real-time account of where they might have gone. His sighting was also validated with information from Cranbrook Flying Services that Alex was the only Piper Warrior moving in the sky at that time.
Discussions with Civil Air Search & Rescue also validate this as an area of interest and worthy of searching again.
Search Dates (future searches if necessary)
On May 8, 9, 10 – 2019, with the support of generous volunteers that include Aerial Observation Services (AOS) our search lead and drone pilot, 2 other drone companies and 4 drone pilots, 2 general aviation aircraft, ATV and 4X4 groups and on-site logistical support, we are finally given an incredible opportunity to go back and search for Alex and Sydney. This is our time to finally go back.
If we are unable to locate them this after the first search, we have many resources offered at reduced costs and volunteers that are committed to support us for as long as it takes.
How You Can Help
We are always hoping other volunteers will come forward to support our search and we are beyond grateful for the goodwill of their time and resources, but the cost for aviation search crews is very costly. The more we are able to support the volunteer crews, the more resources we will likely garner. Some will have taken time off from their work to help us and if possible, we would like to be able to offset some of their upfront expenses such as:
· Fuel for planes and off-road vehicles
· Batteries for drones
· Travel expenses for out of province volunteers
· Food and Accommodations
We will compensate by e-transfer for aviation and drone expenditures first and other costs if funds will allow.
Sometimes things in life are bigger than what you can move on your own. There are no words for the goodwill and generosity everyone has offered to help us move mountains to find Alex and Sydney. Our most heartfelt thank you for your donations and being a part of our families’ journey.
All funds donated will go solely towards the search and recovery efforts for Alex and Sydney.
DonationsSee top donations
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