Search Continues for Missing Couple and Helicopter – UPDATE Helicopter Found

Mar 12, 2019 @ 15:43

The search for two people onboard a Robinson R66 helicopter that went missing between Sudbury and Kapuskasing, Ontario, ended with the discovery of their aircraft on March 11, 2019.

Unfortunately, when Royal Canadian Air Force search and rescue technicians (SAR techs) arrived at the crash site, Jody and Nicole Blais were found without vital signs.

The missing helicopter was discovered by an RCAF CC-130 Hercules on Monday, March 11, 2019, at 1:22 p.m. EDT. SAR techs deployed to the site from an RCAF CH-146 Griffon helicopter at 1:54 p.m. EDT.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Transport Canada have been advised, and the OPP has taken control of the crash site. The Transportation Safety Board will be launching an investigation into the cause of the crash.

The helicopter was initially reported missing Wednesday, March 6, after family members contacted the OPP.  The two individuals had been flying from Sudbury to Kapuskasing, Ontario. Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton began the search with RCAF aircraft and Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) personnel on Wednesday, March 6, and the mission was upgraded to a major SAR operation on Saturday, March 9. The operation was coordinated out of the Victor M. Power Airport, in Timmins, Ontario.

“While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we hope it brings closure to the family and friends of Jody and Nicole Blais,” said the Searchmaster, Captain Marty Zimmer of 1 Canadian Air Division. “We would like to thank the local communities for their support, as well as those that phoned in with tips. We also thank the OPP, Canadian Coast Guard and CASARA volunteers for their tireless efforts over the past several days.”

At its height, the search involved seven RCAF aircraft, a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter, and three  Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) aircraft. RCAF personnel and aircraft came from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario; 435 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 17 Wing Winnipeg, Manitoba; 439 Combat Support Squadron from 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec; 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron from 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia. RCAF aircraft included three CC-130 Hercules aircraft, three CH-146 Griffon helicopters and a CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft. The Canadian Coast Guard and CASARA volunteers participated in the search both on the ground and in the air.

In all, approximately 85 RCAF, Canadian Coast Guard, and CASARA personnel took part in the search in the air, on the ground and in the search headquarters.

Search and rescue incidents under the federal search and rescue mandate are defined as all aircraft incidents and all marine incidents in waters under federal jurisdiction. With the exception of federally owned National Parks, the overall responsibility for land and inland water search and rescue rests with the provinces, territories and municipalities.

Royal Canadian Air Force


Mar 11, 2019 @ 17:43

Search for 2 people onboard a R66 helo has ended with the discovery of their aircraft. Unfortunately @RCAF_ARC SAR Techs found them without vital signs. While not the outcome hoped for, we hope it brings closure to family/friends. @OPP_News has taken over site. Trenton JRCC CCCOS

At 5:10 p.m. a  corrected media release was issued by OPP

On March 6, 2019, at approximately 9:00 a.m., members of the James Bay Detachments of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to an incident where a female and male from the Town of Kapuskasing, Ontario were reported missing.

Police information revealed that Nicole Blais, 47 years old and Jody Blais, 49 years old, both from Kapuskasing, Ontario, failed to return, via helicopter, to a hanger in Fauquier, Ontario, as scheduled. They were last seen leaving Sudbury, Ontario, at 6:45 p.m., on March 4, 2019.

On March 11, 2019, the wreckage of the helicopter and the bodies of Nicole and Jody BLAIS was located by a search plane.

The OPP and the Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the circumstances leading to the crash. The OPP has been working collaboratively in the search efforts with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) and Timmins Porcupine Search and Rescue (TSPR).

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation are encouraged to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

 


Mar 11, 2019 @ 16:22

From James Bay OPP

On March 6, 2019 at approximately 9:00 a.m., members of the James Bay Detachments of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to an incident where a female and male from the Town of Kapuskasing, Ontario were reported missing.

Police information revealed that Nicole Blais, 47 years old and Jody Blais, 49 years old, both from Kapuskasing, Ontario, failed to return, via helicopter, to a hanger in Fauquier, Ontario, as scheduled. They were last seen leaving Sudbury, Ontario, at 6:45 p.m., on March 4, 2019.

On March 11, 2019 members of the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT) located the wreckage of the helicopter and the bodies of Nicole and Jody BLAIS.

The OPP and the Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the circumstances leading to the crash. The OPP has been working collaboratively in the search efforts with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) and Timmins Porcupine Search and Rescue (TSPR).

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation are encouraged to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

 


Mar 10, 2019 @ 22:22

18:02 p.m. update from Gilbert Mondoux (business partner of Jody Blais).

Hi everyone
This is a very important post
We been running for nothing for 5 days with wrong information

Now we have the OPP working with us we are going somewhere and getting the right information

This is so confusing from the beginning
But we are going the right way now

If nothing change we are moving the base in fauquier. We are still waiting for more information and the right one this time

We will need the hall in fauquier to set our base if someone could call for us and let us know if we can set up there

I’ll send more information later today but 95% chance we are moving the research tomorrow from fauquier and smooth Rock. So any volunteer from kap to Smooth rock who available to help us will keep you posted Watch for my post tonight

Please let me know if the fauquier hall is available will start setting tonight

Thanks you
Gilbert


Mar 10, 2019 @ 13:51

A GoFundMe has been launched in order to help in the search for

Time is of the essence!!! In order to support ongoing search parties, we are raising money to supplement the effort, extra rescue aircrafts, and fuel cost. Our family and friends are asking for your help.”

Click for link


Mar 10, 2019 @ 13:21

11:50 a.m. update from Gilbert Mondoux (business partner of Jody Blais).

Hi everyone

With everyone one Facebook today we got the army and OPP coming to do some ground searching with us
The last gps coordination is officially declare the right one. that very good news

Even if your not here you made a difference today and give us more fuel to keep looking I want to thanks everyone to help us to get to this point
So proud of everyone thanks so much to share with us all this post

I want to thanks all rescue team and I also want to let Them know I’m sorry to been so mad this morning
Put we need there help
Thanks God army and OPP are now coming to help us.
Let find them now
This will be my last post. I’ll keep you posted tonight

Gilbert 👍


Mar 10, 2019 @ 11:41

Today is the fifth day of searching for a missing couple, Jody and Nicole Blais in a grey Robinson R66 helicopter with white and orange trim. They were returning from holiday in Nashville, Tennessee. They were flying from Sudbury to Kapuskasing, their home. They were last seen Monday, March 4th around 7 p.m. as they left Sudbury. Jody Blais is an experienced helicopter pilot, and there is survival equipment in the aircraft.

The search is being coordinated from the Victor M. Power Airport in Timmins, and a number of search aircraft are flying including three CC-130 Hercules and three CH-146 Griffon helicopters (8 Wing’s 4-2-4 squadron), a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter and a Lockheed CP-140 Aurora (CFB Greenwood). A Cessna 337 and a Cessna 182 from the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) with spotters onboard are also assisting. HydroOne is assisting today with a helicopter. OPP and volunteer teams are searching on the ground with snowmachines and snowshoes. It is estimated that there are about 50 military and civilian personnel working in the search headquarters.

On Friday, a friend of the couple, Gilbert Mondoux, said he received confirmation Jody’s satellite phone was last connected to the network near Foleyet, northwest of Gogama. Earlier today, Gilbert posted on Facebook “We just got a little signal to send you a report. We are now very close the gps reading they give us yesterday. Visibility is very bad and it very hard to see with the snow storm. We can here the chopper but we don’t see them. I want to take all MP’s to start making thing happen. Your help is very important right now. I’ll try to send more posted if we can. Thanks everyone for you support.”

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