Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mooney M20D Master, C-FESN

The family of a man whose plane went missing in November, believes they may have a clue that could lead to his discovery near Enderby.

Ashley Bourgeault and her boyfriend, pilot Dominic Neron, 28, left from Penticton on Nov. 25, 2017 at 2:30 p.m., en route to Edmonton in a single-engine Mooney airplane. When their plane failed to arrive, it was speculated that the aircraft went down. The last evidence of their location came late that evening when a tower picked up a ping from Neron’s cell phone, approximately 20 kilometres northeast of Revelstoke.

A recent development now has the family wondering if the plane could in the North Okanagan, near Mabel Lake.

On Monday afternoon, Neron’s sister, Tammy said a witness contacted her and reported seeing a burgundy plane around 4:45 on Nov. 25. In a post on her Facebook page, Missing Plane: Find Dominic and Ashley, Neron said the witness reported the plane’s landing gear was fully extended, and it was travelling north to north west.

“Dominic had mentioned, should weather be bad that day he would land in Golden, or Revelstoke, or if it was really bad he would head back to Salmon Arm,” said Tammy. “Landing in Salmon Arm would fit this timeline of being spotted near Mabel Lake.”

At this point, Tammy said the family has accepted that Dominic and Ashley may have “passed on.” Her hope is that his plane will be located and friends and families “can get closure.”

She intends to continue search efforts as soon as the snow has melted and is encouraging anyone with any information on the incident, or who might have seen something, to contact her through Facebook on Missing Plane: Find Dominic and Ashley.

Raymond Sinclair, Brother-in-law to Dominic Neron, Brian Lecompte & Judd Popplewell. 

With snow in the forecast by the end of this week, It might be impossible for any chance for a visual confirmation of the 1963 Mooney Plane that went down several weeks back. 

The Sinclair family are still in Revelstoke searching for their family member, Dominic Neron and his girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault who are now a missing persons matter with the local RCMP. Until any new tips or possible sitings come to light, there can be no further investigation.

On Wednesday, December 13th, Brian Lecompte, Judd Popplewell and Raymond Sinclair (brother-in-law to Neron), flew in Lecompte’s Piper Comanche plane over several mountain passes in search of the missing plane. 

Lecompte volunteered to take Sinclair up for a few hours to go for a look in a few of the hidden areas he knows very well. With over 2200 hours of flight experience, Lecompte knows how to navigate the rocky terrain. Along with Popplewell, who was his co-pilot for the day, at 300 hours, these two know the area well.

Lecompte flew the crew around Mount La Forme, The Trans-Canada demon; Heather Hill and the Rogers Pass area.

I was invited along to join the excursion with Lecompte, Popplewell and Sinclair. As we hit 5000 feet over the Rogers Pass area, the vast land is truly overwhelming; almost intimidating, even on a clear day, especially while trying to find a needle in a haystack.

“If he went into a spiral trying to get out of the soup, it would be like dropping a pencil into the forest. Very hard to find.” Lecompte shared with all eyes hunting the mountain scape.

One issues was the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) was never set off. If the plane had a hard landing, the ELT is designed to detect a bad inertia, as long as it is armed. Even if the plane had a relatively easy landing, the ELT may not have been able to be accessible after the fact, therefore, no ELT signal could have been sent.

When asked if their was any indication that Neron may have flown passed the Rogers Pass area, Sinclair indicated that it wasn’t likely.

“We were told that the ping was found right in this area, had he made it further, a tower towards Golden would have been able to pick it up.”

After several hours of flight around the glacier and several mountain passes, the final flight around came to a disappointing conclusion.

According to Sinclair, family and friends have been on a rotation between Alberta and Revelstoke to maintain the search. They are hopeful for something to come to light before until the snow covers everything until next spring.

Story and gallery ➤

After rescue crews suspended their search for a plane that dropped from radar on the way to Edmonton, the families of the couple on board are trying to raise funds to keep the search going.

Back on Saturday, November 25, the plane took off from Penticton at about 2:30 p.m., and the Victoria Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC Victoria) received an alert about eight hours later. A signal from the pilot’s cellphone was picked up off a cell tower northeast of Revelstoke, B.C.

In the days that followed, aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force and Parks Canada flew about 120 hours and covered more than 22,000 square kilometres in the areas around the plane’s last known location in the search for the plane and the two people on board.

CTV News later confirmed the name of the pilot: Dominic Neron, 28, from Spruce Grove, and his passenger was identified as his girlfriend: Ashley Bourgeault, 31.

On Monday, December 4 at about 4:30 MT, JRCC Victoria suspended their search for the single-engine plane and the case was turned over to the RCMP.

Now, the families of the two people on board are trying to raise funds in order to keep the search going.

Bourgeault’s family is accepting donations through email money transfer to:

Neron’s sister Tammy set up a GoFundMe page on Tuesday, December 5.

Pilot Dominic Neron and his passenger Ashley Bourgeault

The pair were travelling in this airplane when they went missing. One thing the family asks is for Revelstoke community members to think if they can recall seeing a red/burgundy plane on the afternoon of the 25th, probably within the hour after it left Penticton at 2:30 p.m. Family said other sightings had been ruled out because of the colour of the plane; at this point, they just hope someone may have useful information.

A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter departs from Revelstoke to search on Friday afternoon.

Members of the families of Dominic Neron and Ashley Bourgeault join friends and Revelstoke residents after arriving here to keep the search for the missing pair going.

The families provided many maps, documents and images of the search effort, including this one said to depict flight paths as yellow lines. There were other maps with similar depictions. We don’t have exact details of this photo of one of the many maps. 

Family, friends and Revelstoke members gather soon after arriving in Revelstoke on Saturday.

Maritime Forces Pacific / Forces maritimes du Pacifique


After an exhaustive search for a single-engine plane missing since November 25, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria (JRCC Victoria) has made the difficult decision to suspend their search today as of 15:30 PST, and transfer the case to the RCMP.

Over the last 9 days, Royal Canadian Air Force and Parks Canada aircraft have flown approximately 120 hours in extremely challenging weather and conditions, covering more than 22,000 square kilometres in the areas surrounding the last known location, and likely flight path, of the missing plane. The JRCC Victoria acknowledges the support we have received from Parks Canada and CASARA, and the information provided by Telus, Rogers, NavCanada and NORAD, which greatly assisted in narrowing the search area.

Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time.


Après une recherche exhaustive pour un avion mono-moteur disparu depuis le 25 novembre, le Centre conjoint de coordination des opérations de sauvetage de Victoria (CCCOS Victoria) a pris la décision difficile de suspendre sa recherche aujourd'hui à 15 h 30, HP, et de transférer le cas à la GRC.

Au cours des neuf derniers jours, les appareils de l'Aviation royale canadienne et de Parcs Canada ont effectué environ 120 heures de vol dans des régions et des conditions météorologiques extrêmement difficiles, couvrant plus de 22,000 kilomètres carrés dans les zones entourant le dernier endroit connu de l’avion. Le CCCOS Victoria reconnaît le soutien que nous avons reçu de Parcs Canada et de l'ACRSA, ainsi que l'information fournie par Telus, Rogers, NavCanada et NORAD, ce qui a grandement contribué à réduire la zone de recherche.

Nos pensées sont avec les familles et les proches en cette période extrêmement difficile.

Over the past nine days, the royal Canadian Aviation and parks Canada aircraft have conducted approximately 120 hours of flight in extremely difficult regions and weather conditions, covering more than 22,000 square kilometres in areas surrounding the Last known location of the plane. Le Victoria recognizes the support we have received from Parks Canada and, as well as the information provided by Telus, Rogers, navcanada and norad, which has greatly contributed to reducing the search area.

Our thoughts are with families and relatives in this extremely difficult time.

The search for a pilot, passenger and the single-engine aircraft they were travelling in has been called off nine days after their disappearance.

Efforts will end at 3:30 p.m. Monday and the case will be transferred to the RCMP, the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria said in a statement.

Crews have been combing the Rocky Mountains for signs of Dominic Neron, 28, and his girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault, 31, since Nov. 25.

The couple took off from Penticton, B.C. in Neron's white and burgundy striped Mooney airplane that afternoon and were expected to land in Edmonton Saturday night. Four hours after their anticipated arrival they were reported missing.

Calling the search for the single-engine plane "exhaustive," the JRCC said aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force and Parks Canada spent approximately 120 hours in the air in challenging weather. Searchers covered more than 22,000 square kilometres in the areas surrounding possible locations.

The JRCC acknowledged support from cellphone providers, NavCanada and NORAD for their assistance in narrowing the search area. Cellphone pings led crews to believe the couple may have been in an area about 32 kilometres northeast of Revelstoke, B.C., but after days of searching they were unable to find further signs of the pilot and passenger.

"Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time," the JRCC statement said.

The centre said the pilot did not issue a mayday call during the flight, nor did he file a flight plan.


Anonymous said...

As much as I feel for all those who have been adversely affected, realistically, it’s now a recovery operation. That terrain is not a good place for any forced landing. Having been on one similar search ... looking for the same size plane and color as this one, in winter, is hard to do and even harder to spot. The couple that left Cranbrook for here, months ago, haven’t been found either. BC is a tough place to fly-in. Condolences to all.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am so sorry for this situation, I saw the info int the news today, after 4 weeks. So, what I read, the aircraft was not equipped with an ELT, uhmm, also, there is neither flight plan nor flight itinerary. so, do we know why? Anyways, good luck!