Friends and family have identified the two people onboard a missing plane in B.C. as Dominic Neron of Spruce Grove and his girlfriend, Ashley Bourgeault.

The 28-year-old Neron and Bourgeault left Penticton, B.C., on a single-engine aircraft at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. In a Facebook message, Tammy Neron said she believed her brother was flying the aircraft to Revelstoke to visit his girlfriend's family, though officials in B.C. say the plane was flying to Edmonton. 

The plane was reported missing at 10:40 p.m. Saturday, when the plane was reported overdue by a concerned friend, said Katelyn Moores, spokesperson for Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre Victoria.

Moores confirmed the plane, a 1963 Mooney M20D, was en route to the Villeneuve airport, northwest of Edmonton.

Neron's cellphone signal was last picked up around 46 kilometres northeast of Revelstoke, she added.

Search and rescue teams began looking for the white aircraft with burgundy stripes on Saturday night. The search focused on the region between Revelstoke and Rogers Pass, but nothing was found. Bad weather on Sunday hampered  efforts, but searchers resumed Monday morning in the Revelstoke area.

Revelstoke map

Cellphone signals from a pilot onboard small plane that has gone missing were last picked up near Revelstoke, B.C. (Google Maps)

Neron owned the aircraft and had flown the route before, Tammy said.

Dan Rahnell, who has known Neron for 10 years, said his friend is a journeyman electrician who would have to be celebrating his 29th birthday next month.

Neron had been flying for a few years, Rahnell said in a Facebook message.

"It's very surreal for family and friends. We are just hoping for a safe return," he said.

"Dom was always willing to help with anything. He's very resilient and I hope to hear a happy ending about this scary situation."

Dominic Neron

Neron, 28, had been flying for a few years, a friend said. (Supplied/Tammy Neron)

With files from CBC News British Columbia, Wallis Snowdon and Genevieve Normand