An elderly couple are suspected to have been killed in an “unsurvivable ” light plane crash in north Queensland.
A 75-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man were on board a flight headed to Palmyra from Townsville when it went down at Finch Hatton, west of Mackay, on Saturday morning.
Police believe that the pair are a married couple that are “not expected to have survived the crash”.
“It‘s been determined as a result of that initial search that the crash was an unsurvivable incident,” Detective Inspector Emma Novosel said.
Authorities were first alerted to their plight after receiving a call from a member of the public before they were alerted of an overdue aircraft that was due to arrive at the Palmyra Airstrip at 8:15am.
“The initial report was a call from a member of the public who lives in that area, who reported that he had heard a light aircraft and suddenly a distant noise and then no longer could hear the aircraft,” Ms Novosel said.
The CQ Rescue Helicopter was deployed midmorning before coming across a possible crash site in mountainous terrain in Pioneer Valley.
The terrain was deemed inaccessible by road or foot, and a search member needed to be winched down to the site in order to assess it, confirming it was the overdue light plane.
Police have been able to determine that the man involved in the crash was a pilot with 30 years of experience and that the aircraft, a SOCATA TB20 Trinidad single-engine, was his own.
Its also understood the pair had two sons as well as grandchildren.
It’s expected that disaster victim identification specialists will be able to access the site this week.
“Weather conditions permitting … we believe that will be able to commence on Tuesday,” she said.