Big clue in missing plane

Alanna Kelly

The search for a missing single-engine aircraft and the couple on board continues with new information about the plane possibly being in the North Okanagan. 

Pilot Dominic Neron, 28, and his girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault, 31, were last seen taking off in their burgundy-and-white plane from Penticton Regional Airport at 2:23 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2017.

They were supposed to arrive in Edmonton, Alta. that evening, but vanished instead. 

Just this week, three people have come forward to Neron’s family stating they either heard or saw a similar plane on that very day around 4 p.m., near Mabel Lake, B.C.

“Honestly, it’s the biggest piece of information we have had in so long so it is nice to actually have witnesses say ‘yes, it happened here,'” said Tammy Neron, Dominic's sister.

One man said he saw a low-flying plane with its landing gear down, another witness who is a hunter said he heard a loud crash and third said they heard a plane.

“We are trying to stress to the public that if they did see or hear anything in Mabel Lake to contact us,” Neron said.

She added that these witnesses may not have come forward before because this was not the original search area.

Royal Canadian Air Force, Parks Canada, search and rescue crews and volunteers spent days scouring more than 22,000 square kilometres in the Revelstoke area searching for the plane but could not find any trace of the two missing people or their aircraft.

Although no flight plan was filed by Neron, his family believes he would have travelled through Salmon Arm, up to Revelstoke, across to Golden and up to Edmonton.

“All those points were points that if the weather was bad, he would have stopped there,” his sister said.

According to her, all three of the new witnesses did contact RCMP, but the information was not relayed to the family.

She asks that anyone with information contact the family directly at 780-405-7649.

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