Family members of missing Alberta pilot Dominic Neron, 28, travelled from Vancouver Island and Edmonton, Alberta to Revelstoke on Saturday to extend the search efforts.
Neron and his 31-year-old girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault have been missing for more than one week.
“I know that he’s out there, it’s just a matter of finding him,” Neron’s sister Tammy said on Sunday.
The single-engine Mooney aircraft Neron was piloting vanished from radar near Revelstoke last Saturday.
The couple were visiting Bourgeault’s family in Penticton and were en route home to the Edmonton-area, but never made it.
The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre dispatched military aircraft to search for the missing couple, but family members fear the search may soon be called off.
“I know that Dominic is ok, I know that Ashley is ok, they’re taking care of each other, it’s just, it is getting down to that time crunch, and to know that the weather is now behaving in our favour, we need to take advantage of that,” Tammy said.
Officials say poor weather conditions have been a challenge and a small white aircraft is difficult to spot in the vast mountainous terrain covered in snow.
Family members are now taking matters into their own hands.
Don Sinclair, Neron’s brother, said they intend to continue the search efforts with the help of local residents.
“Try and rally the locals, just any outdoorsy people. Trying to utilize any resource that we have available to us, back country skiers, stuff like that. And just get boots on the ground. Continue the search.”
The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre said two military aircraft scoured an area 18 kilometres north of Revelstoke on Sunday, but officials won’t confirm when those search efforts may be called off.
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