Savoura tomato company president and son missing in helicopter flight

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The Canadian Armed Forces are on a search and rescue mission to find the president of a successful Quebec tomato producer and his son, who have been missing since Wednesday in the Laurentians.

Savoura president Stéphane Roy, 55, was piloting a helicopter with his 14-year-old son on board in the Lac de la Bidière region.

Roy and his son were with two other people on a fishing trip. The other two were travelling on float plane and arrived safely, but the Roys haven't been seen or heard from since.

Searches are being carried out between Lac de la Bidière and Ste-Sophie with three helicopters and one Hercules plane. Civilian pilots are also assisting in the search.

"At the moment there haven’t been any distress signals," said Helene Nepton of the Sureté du Quebec.  

Savoura issued a news release Thursday saying Roy is an experienced helicopter pilot with hundreds of hours of experience, and was flying a red and white R44.

The flight should have only taken an hour.

The Armed Forces are searching a 2,000-square-kilometre swath of land, and the search is difficult because it's a densely forested and undeveloped area.

Capt. Trevor Reid said that no signal beacon has been detected and that trained search-and-rescue teams from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre are trained to look for any signal of the plane, including snapped treetops.

Storms impeded the search Thursday night, said Reid, but resumed on Friday. It's too early to say how long crews will search for the missing pair, he said.

Aircraft in the region are being advised to be on the lookout for the helicopter, and anyone who spots something is asked to call the SQ at 1-800-659-4264.