Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

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Notapilot1
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#76 Post by Notapilot1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:48 pm

JRCC (I believe is a zone of CASARA) was involved in the search up until recently. They are now relying on privately chartered helicopters and planes which are incredibly expensive. I have marked a triangle on my map that includes Roger's Pass, Ross Peak, and Wheeler Hut. The RCMP are reaching out to the people that heard the plane there to see if they can contribute more information. I do have maps of his flight path, and cell phone pings if anyone would like to see them. I also have a map of which areas have been searched by JRCC.

I have not seen an initial flight plan, and am going off the assumption that he would be following the TC. Please correct me if I am way off base on this. Is there another potential path if he ran into trouble following the TC? I looked on Winnipeg Aviation to try and create a flight plan to see where he would have actually been going had he not gone off radar but I am obviously not proficient enough to do that. By the sounds of it, a lot of you have flown that route before. Would anyone be able to show me a flight plan for the most logical way to go given the conditions that day? had heard that the pilot's girlfriend didn't like to land in Golden as it was pretty rough, if that is something relevant to keep in mind.

I have also heard that the pilot has an Ipad in which he does submit flight plans with but am not entirely sure what happened this go around. Based on the flight path, it looks like he did try to land in Revelstoke but was unable to for some reason (as mentioned above.)

I am going to plot out ALL the information we have so far this evening on a map but I feel as if the search area has been narrowed down, although most of it has been searched already.

Again, thank you all so much this has been a great help.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#77 Post by Notapilot1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:53 pm

cncpc wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:03 pm
Notapilot1 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:00 am
Yes, I know the two people in the plane, i know the passengers daughter. So that hotel comment? That was malicious and uncalled for.
I don't mean to open up some dispute in the midst of this sad and serious thread. However, my comment about a hotel in Revelstoke was neither malicious or uncalled for. It simply reflected cold and practical reality in a thread which is read by pilots, some of them 200 hour or less pilots from the flatlands who may one day come into our BC mountains, and attempt a flight like this on a day like it was. I have spent decades flying in those mountains, in that type of weather. I have been in many hotels that I had never heard of before or planned to be at the start of a flight. That includes hotels in Revelstoke, Golden, and Canmore. I am alive, everyone who ever got into an aircraft with me is alive and unharmed.

You asked us what would we have done. I would have gone to a hotel in Revelstoke. If that had happened here, this thread wouldn't exist. Families wouldn't be wondering where these two young people are, three children would not be missing their mother. My response was the best possible answer to your question. It was called for. To answer it in any other way, to speculate in a way that would lead other inexperienced pilots to think that trying to make it through was a wise choice, would be leading young and inexperienced pilots to the same mistake.

I was wondering why you'd be staying in a hotel if the weather was fine on SATURDAY when they left from Penticton. Given that the wrong day was used, and we now know what the conditions were actually like, I don't think this comment is relevant.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#78 Post by CpnCrunch » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:02 pm

The trans canada highway is the recommended VFR route. I don't think you can see it on any websites, but if you get hold of a VNC chart you'll see it. It's on the Calgary and Vancouver charts. Or you can download the free "FltPlan Go" app, then go to downloads->maps->sectional->canada->SW. After downloading, go to maps, click layers->sectionals, then scroll over to Revelstoke and you should see the VFR route.

I don't know if they were landing at Revelstoke...they could just have been circling to go under the clouds. They were circling at 7000+ft, so there's no way they were "downwind" (1000ft above) any runway at that point. If they were circling to land, why didn't they land?

CASARA and JRCC are different...CASARA is civilian volunteer pilots, and JRCC is the government search and rescue. They do work together, but it may be possible to get CASARA to help you even though JRCC has ended the search. I'm not sure how CASARA works, but it's probably worth inquiring.

If he had an ipad it's probably unlikely he took the wrong route (unless the ipad ran out of power or he lost the GPS signal, which is possible). Still, it should have been possible to follow the highway.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#79 Post by Notapilot1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:26 pm

I believe CASARA has been involved already but as the case has been handed over to the RCMP and there have been no new leads, they are not searching further. Up until today when the potential "witnesses" at Wheeler Hut came into play which someone mentioned long ago. Parks Canada put in a call but it doesn't sound like they have gotten much out of it. 1 person has confirmed that they did hear a plane around the timeline that would make sense given all events and information but didn't physically see anything so I am unsure what they did with that information.

Below Is the link for my map where I have plotted some information (some is missing but given the location

https://drive.google.com/open?id=149khX ... sp=sharing

I do have the flight path as well if anyone wants to see it that wasn't able to access it.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#80 Post by Notapilot1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:43 pm

Notapilot1 wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:26 pm
I believe CASARA has been involved already but as the case has been handed over to the RCMP and there have been no new leads, they are not searching further. Up until today when the potential "witnesses" at Wheeler Hut came into play which someone mentioned long ago. Parks Canada put in a call but it doesn't sound like they have gotten much out of it. 1 person has confirmed that they did hear a plane around the timeline that would make sense given all events and information but didn't physically see anything so I am unsure what they did with that information.

Below Is the link for my map where I have plotted some information (some is missing but given the location

https://drive.google.com/open?id=149khX ... sp=sharing

I do have the flight path as well if anyone wants to see it that wasn't able to access it.
I updated the map and it didn't save the changes, hopefully it is now working.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#81 Post by Notapilot1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:50 pm

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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#82 Post by CpnCrunch » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:02 pm

Regarding the plane heard: there might have been other planes there that day, so there's no guarantee that it was that particular plane that was heard.

One possibility is that they took a wrong turn at that point, turning right towards Wheeler Hut rather than left towards Rogers Pass. That's just speculation, but it might be worth at least driving up there to look around. (Note that even if they had gone the correct route, someone on the ground at Wheeler hut probably still would have heard the plane, so that isn't proof they flew the wrong way).

If they did fly in that direction, from what I can see looking at the charts it looks like a big box canyon. I don't think they would have been able to get through , and they would have had to turn back. If they couldn't turn back, they might have impacted the mountains somewhere around the 6000-7000ft level.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#83 Post by Notapilot1 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:05 pm

I did just say that there could have been other planes flying around that day. We will check to see if that was looked into as well.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#84 Post by Diadem » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 pm

Looking at the location of Wheeler Hut, which is also where I initially thought he might have made a wrong turn, something else came to mind: maybe he intentionally headed up the Illicillewaet Valley, thinking it was the Beaver Valley. Perhaps he didn't think the conditions ahead through Rogers Pass looked good, or maybe he just wanted to get through the mountains as quickly as possible before dark, and thinking he was further than he was he turned south to try to follow the valley towards the Columbia. If he took his first right instead of his second, perhaps because of some clouds and looming dusk, he would have been faced with abruptly-rising terrain.
Alternatively, I would be more inclined to think that if he missed a turned somewhere, it would be after the head of the pass, where the highway turns north towards Kinbasket Lake along the Beaver Valley. There's another valley that runs east-west on the far side of that turn, and if he missed the change in the highway's direction he might have continued up it to a dead end. That, to me, seems more likely than missing the turn at the Illicillewaet, since he would have had to go right instead of continuing straight ahead there. Of course, the information that's been released seems to indicate that the phone which was pinging off the towers never connected to the one at the head of the pass, which they would have flown right over if this hypothesis is correct; either it never connected as they passed over, or they never made it that far.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#85 Post by cncpc » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:20 pm

I've taken the data from FlightAware and superimposed it on Google Earth and connected the dots and added the altitudes from the radar hits. The 3pm local Revelstoke weather at the airport is shown at the top. It indicates that wherever the beam hits, the base of the scattered layer was at 8450 ASL. If that layer extended to where they were at 3:05 they would have been in cloud or between layers, and they would have had the base of the overcast layer 200 feet above them. IF the cloud structure was similar to the airport. They would have been above the freezing level. But, there is no evidence they were in cloud. Scattered means between 3/8 and 1/2 of the sky. Alternatively it means that you can see the ground at least half the time, if that is what you are trying to do. It means that there should have been little difficulty in descending VFR below the scattered layer.

From 3:06 to 3:08 the aircraft descends 1400 feet. It seems to show a very high right downwind for 12, if I remember correctly. At reaching 3:09 it is heading northwest, but at 3:10 it is just abeam the button of 12 and 6500 feet above it. Heading east. Then it turns and It then goes up to the Big Eddy subdivision at 3:11 and that hit shows it having descended 100 feet and heading north, up the Mica Highway and towards the Revelstoke dam. Then in two minutes it seems to head back to an offset final for the airport, and then goes up beside the Coast Resort along the highway out of town, at 7000 ASL, and heading northeast.

Everything after 3:08 would seem to be happening in VFR conditions. Something was going on, and it was resolved by eventually setting out eastbound on the TCH.

What is missing is the content of any communications with Center for the flight following, and request for weather from Kamloops radio or position reporting.

Notapilot's info on the witness seeing a low level aircraft in low vis conditions is very likely connected to this airplane.

Is there any background as to why they had to be home on Saturday night on a weekend?

Some of the behaviour at Revelstoke might be taken to be some form of incapacitation, but if that were the case, surely they would have landed, instead of heading up the Pass.

I've also included the clear day view they would have had at 3:13. Notapilot, are you sure that the cell ping was at 3:30 and not 3:13, because that would mean they went up the pass and turned around and came back to Revy in 17 minutes.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#86 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:43 am

cncpc- Thank you for doing all this, you have no idea how much I appreciate it. It gives a lot of insight. They had to leave on Saturday to be back to pick up the passenger's children.

I am double checking on the ping at Revy, trying to get an exact time. Can you see any reason for the "erratic" flying over Revelstoke? He tried to land there?

Do you think we could access the information regarding contact with Center for Flight? I understand there is no weather station at Roger's Pass and would have had to rely on the Kamloops station?
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#87 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:51 am

Diadem wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 pm
Looking at the location of Wheeler Hut, which is also where I initially thought he might have made a wrong turn, something else came to mind: maybe he intentionally headed up the Illicillewaet Valley, thinking it was the Beaver Valley. Perhaps he didn't think the conditions ahead through Rogers Pass looked good, or maybe he just wanted to get through the mountains as quickly as possible before dark, and thinking he was further than he was he turned south to try to follow the valley towards the Columbia. If he took his first right instead of his second, perhaps because of some clouds and looming dusk, he would have been faced with abruptly-rising terrain.
Alternatively, I would be more inclined to think that if he missed a turned somewhere, it would be after the head of the pass, where the highway turns north towards Kinbasket Lake along the Beaver Valley. There's another valley that runs east-west on the far side of that turn, and if he missed the change in the highway's direction he might have continued up it to a dead end. That, to me, seems more likely than missing the turn at the Illicillewaet, since he would have had to go right instead of continuing straight ahead there. Of course, the information that's been released seems to indicate that the phone which was pinging off the towers never connected to the one at the head of the pass, which they would have flown right over if this hypothesis is correct; either it never connected as they passed over, or they never made it that far.
The Illicillewaet Glacier (I assume is in or near the Illicillewaet Valley because it doesn't show up on Google Maps) is very close to the area I have marked on the map.

Do you know what the other valley is? Or could you show me on a map?
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#88 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:00 am

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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#89 Post by CpnCrunch » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:17 am

Notapilot1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:43 am
Can you see any reason for the "erratic" flying over Revelstoke? He tried to land there?
You have to bear in mind that flightaware only shows data for about once per minute. Nav Canada might have higher resolution data. Anyway, when looking at the data it just looks like he is circling in a descent (it becomes pretty obvious that he's circling in a descent when you look at the heading, altitudes and speeds). Given the scattered cloud base at 7000ft, I think the most likely reason is that he was trying to get under those clouds. Possibly the clouds got more widespread at that point.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#90 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:27 am

CpnCrunch wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:17 am
Notapilot1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:43 am
Can you see any reason for the "erratic" flying over Revelstoke? He tried to land there?
You have to bear in mind that flightaware only shows data for about once per minute. Nav Canada might have higher resolution data. Anyway, when looking at the data it just looks like he is circling in a descent (it becomes pretty obvious that he's circling in a descent when you look at the heading, altitudes and speeds). Given the scattered cloud base at 7000ft, I think the most likely reason is that he was trying to get under those clouds. Possibly the clouds got more widespread at that point.
That makes sense. Once he got low enough for VFR he carried on to the TC route.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#91 Post by cncpc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:37 am

Notapilot1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:43 am
cncp- Thank you for doing all this, you have no idea how much I appreciate it. It gives a lot of insight. They had to leave on Saturday to be back to pick up the passenger's children.

I am double checking on the ping at Revy, trying to get an exact time. Can you see any reason for the "erratic" flying over Revelstoke? He tried to land there?

Do you think we could access the information regarding contact with Center for Flight? I understand there is no weather station at Roger's Pass and would have had to rely on the Kamloops station?
The best I can say about the flight path around Revelstoke is that it may indicate uncertain intentions and the pilot being faced with different options, which eventually resolves to proceeding into Rogers Pass. That takes place in the context of them having just flown the leg between Penticton and Revelstoke, and encountering what was likely some challenging weather and possibly some pretty scary stuff if ice was encountered, or if it appeared they were trapped on top of an undercast. There is likely some aspect of a condition we call get home itis involved in this.

I am just one of many people on this forum who may have insight into what was going on at Revelstoke. There are dozens, if not hundreds of people on here who have been in similar situations, sometimes more than once. They may be able to offer other insights, or they may agree with my assessment, which is at best, within reason.

I would absolutely confirm and get every detail of that witness who saw an aircraft flying low in lowered visibility. Where did he see the aircraft, what did it look like, which direction was he/she travelling, which direction was the aircraft travelling, what was the weather behind him, the weather as he went farther. The time of day. If that is your friends, they are certainly in peril at that time and if they did not turn around, I expect the aircraft is somewhere near that spot. Even at 8000 feet, there is a feeling of little shoulder room at some points along that route. At low level there are quite a few places where a 180 degree turn may not be possible.

I do have some experience of doing work for lawyers on air crashes. I know that the TSB gives special access to families to keep them in the know. As the aircraft has not been found, the TSB may not yet be involved, but I think the general principle of special consideration for families may well apply. I take it you are not a family member, so I would advise that you get a letter from the family(s) which says you represent them for the purposes of receiving information they may be entitled to receive. From that point, you have to find out where the right Nav Canada facility is at and contact them. The Kamloops Flight Service Station, or whatever they are called these days, is probably your one stop for phone numbers. I expect they have saved any tapes they have.

There are Nav Canada people on this forum. They may be able to assist you.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#92 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:00 am

Yes, I am waiting on more details. There are so many people involved, and quite a bit of second hand information. I have also asked about the witness account at Canyon Hot Springs, and like you asked if he/she saw the color of the plane, what time it was, etc.

I haven't heard if the TSB is involved but I will definitely pass that along (as I have been with all of the other information, theories, and insight on this forum.) We will get in touch with the flight station as well.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#93 Post by cncpc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:03 am

Notapilot1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:51 am
Diadem wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:23 pm
Looking at the location of Wheeler Hut, which is also where I initially thought he might have made a wrong turn, something else came to mind: maybe he intentionally headed up the Illicillewaet Valley, thinking it was the Beaver Valley. Perhaps he didn't think the conditions ahead through Rogers Pass looked good, or maybe he just wanted to get through the mountains as quickly as possible before dark, and thinking he was further than he was he turned south to try to follow the valley towards the Columbia. If he took his first right instead of his second, perhaps because of some clouds and looming dusk, he would have been faced with abruptly-rising terrain.
Alternatively, I would be more inclined to think that if he missed a turned somewhere, it would be after the head of the pass, where the highway turns north towards Kinbasket Lake along the Beaver Valley. There's another valley that runs east-west on the far side of that turn, and if he missed the change in the highway's direction he might have continued up it to a dead end. That, to me, seems more likely than missing the turn at the Illicillewaet, since he would have had to go right instead of continuing straight ahead there. Of course, the information that's been released seems to indicate that the phone which was pinging off the towers never connected to the one at the head of the pass, which they would have flown right over if this hypothesis is correct; either it never connected as they passed over, or they never made it that far.
The Illicillewaet Glacier (I assume is in or near the Illicillewaet Valley because it doesn't show up on Google Maps) is very close to the area I have marked on the map.

Do you know what the other valley is? Or could you show me on a map?
The valley east of Illicillewaet is that of the Duncan River, which flows down to Duncan Lake, above Kaslo. I've marked it on red. They would have needed at least 9000 feet to clear the glacier area barrier, and there would be no point to go there if they could make 9000 feet.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#94 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:05 am

cncpc- Would an icing map of the area help?
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#95 Post by cncpc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:16 am

Notapilot1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:00 am
Yes, I am waiting on more details. There are so many people involved, and quite a bit of second hand information. I have also asked about the witness account at Canyon Hot Springs, and like you asked if he/she saw the color of the plane, what time it was, etc.

I haven't heard if the TSB is involved but I will definitely pass that along (as I have been with all of the other information, theories, and insight on this forum.) We will get in touch with the flight station as well.
If this low level sighting in bad weather happened at Canyon Hot Springs, the chances of them making it much farther are not good. There is a rise in elevation of some 2000 feet between the Hot Springs and the Ross Peak area, and if ceiling was forcing them down low, they would likely have run out of room as they went east, if that cloud structure remained going east. It may not have.

There is an off chance a road landing was attempted and went over a shoulder. I've done that.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#96 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:47 am

The witness at Canyon Springs said the plane was white (but that the weather was bad, and it could have looked white.) The plan was flying very low, just above the tree tops, and was heading East. I am waiting on a time for this sighting.

The ping in Revelstoke was at 3:13 pm, you were correct.

Snowmobiles also heard him at the location below between 3:20 - 3:40

We did talk about a highway landing as well although, looking at the search maps it looks as if they have searched all along the TC. I am still waiting on a map to show all cell phone pings.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#97 Post by cncpc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:14 am

This is a reasonable approximation of the view at tree top level at Canyon. It is hard to believe that witness sighting.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#98 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:17 am

I guess you have to take witness sightings with a grain of salt. The time of the sighting was 3:30 pm.
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#99 Post by Notapilot1 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:58 am

cncpc wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:14 am
This is a reasonable approximation of the view at tree top level at Canyon. It is hard to believe that witness sighting.

canyon.jpg
Is this due to the elevation of the trees? Or why don't you believe that?
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Re: Missing airplane on flight from Penticton to Edmonton

#100 Post by Diadem » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:13 pm

Notapilot1 wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:51 am
The Illicillewaet Glacier (I assume is in or near the Illicillewaet Valley because it doesn't show up on Google Maps) is very close to the area I have marked on the map.

Do you know what the other valley is? Or could you show me on a map?
The Illicillewaet River runs down from the Illicillewaet Glacier, past Wheeler Hut, under the Trans-Canada, and down to Revelstoke, so that's the one you were looking at already. I was just speculating as to why he might have turned south there if that was where he turned.
The valley to which I was referring is this one: https://goo.gl/maps/hyTrX5V3HC82 If he was following that short section of the TC eastbound before it turns north and missed the curve, the natural course would be to continue up that valley while trying to find the road because it's roughly the same track.
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