Search area narrowed

UPDATE: 5:10 p.m.

Searchers narrowed their hunt, Monday, for a single-engine plane missing en route from Penticton to Edmonton.

The search area near Revelstoke has been reduced in size to a smaller area north of Revelstoke.

Pilot Dominic Neron did not issue a mayday call, officials say.

Neron, 28, a journeyman electrician from Spruce Grove, Alta., and his girlfriend, Ashley Bourgeault, 31, were on board the aircraft.

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

The search for a small plane that went missing after leaving Penticton Saturday has been called off for the evening.

Katelyn Moores with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria says searchers are completely reliant on daylight and will resume tomorrow at first light.

The B.C.-wide volunteer-run Provincial Emergency Air Program also tweeted it has suspended its search for the night, with plans to resume tomorrow.

Poor visibility hampered the search Monday, which focused on an area about 45 kilometres northeast of Revelstoke where pilot Dominic Neron’s cellphone was last pinged.

UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.

The former owner of a plane that went missing near Revelstoke says the terrain in the area where the aircraft was last heard from is rugged and forested.

"The valleys are very close in … It's very rough terrain," Eldon Gjesdal told CTV.

He sold the single-engine Mooney to Dominic Neron of Spruce Grove, Alta., earlier this year.

"We're just hoping and praying that he found a safe place to land," said Gjesdal.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

ORIGINAL: 10:20 a.m.

The search for two people on board a small plane that went missing out of Penticton over the weekend continues today.

Dominic Neron and girlfriend Ashley Bourgeault took off from Penticton Regional Airport in the single-engine Mooney aircraft about 2:30 p.m. Saturday. They never arrived in Edmonton.

Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre Victoria reported the plane overdue at 10:40 p.m. Saturday and began the search that night.

“JRCCV has tasked four aircraft to (a) search area, which is approximately 25 nautical miles northeast of Revelstoke in the Rogers Pass area,” said Lieut. Melissa Kia.

The pilot's cellphone last pinged about 32 kilometres northeast of Revelstoke.

“During the opening of winter season, you are going to see really low-lying cloud, and icing and precipitation becomes an issue for any type of search and rescue aircraft that would be in the area,” said Kia.

Weather conditions are hampering visibility today, making it difficult for spotters looking for debris or signs of a crash.

“You really have to be right over it to see it,” she said. “You are looking for a very small target.”

A Cormorant helicopter, one Civil Air Search and Rescue Association and two Parks Canada helicopters, one out of Arrow in Revelstoke and the second from Alpine in Golden, are searching right now.

Neron’s sister is praying that her brother is OK.

"I pray he is OK," Tammy Neron said. "I don't know anything, and they haven't had any luck so far." 

Neron, of Spruce Grove, Alta., has owned the aircraft since Sept. 9, 2017. The Mooney aircraft was manufactured in 1963.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the two individuals and with their families,” said Kia.

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