The family of a young pilot and his girlfriend who disappeared during a flight from Lethbridge to Kamloops are holding out hope that they will be found alive and well.

Alex Simons and his girlfriend Sydney Robillard took off on Thursday from Lethbridge, heading to be with family in Kamloops.

The plane never reached its destination and the family is getting more and more desperate as time passes.

“The longer we don’t hear anything, the worse it gets and the hope dwindles,” said Nancy Robillard, Sydney’s mother.

All contact with the plane was lost after the single engine aircraft departed from a refueling stop in Cranbook a little after 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Search and rescue teams, along with the military, have been searching since Thursday evening but rocky terrain and bad weather are making the operation very difficult.

“The problem is that it’s a very mountainous, very heavily treed area and there’s parts of the mountain range that extend 10,000 to 11,000 feet,” said Lieutenant Greg Menzies with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre. “There’s still a lot of area that hasn’t been searched yet.”

Alex Simons obtained his private pilot’s licence back in March and Robillard’s mother said he wanted to become a commercial pilot.

“She loved flying with Alex. He had taken her up in Lethbridge many times. He was very passionaye about flying. It was his life.”

The plane Simons and Robillard took off in was a rented Piper Warrior with the call letters C-GDTK.

Teams continue their search for the missing couple.