Police find plane wreckage after week-long search

UPDATE Wednesday, January 29

WATER police and dive squad members have found the wreckage of a light plane that crashed near Moreton Island a week ago.

On January 22, a a 70-year-old pilot and his 52-year-old wife had taken the plane out for a scenic flight from Caloundra to Moreton Island. A distress call was issued at about 4.30pm and the search began shortly afterwards.

It had involved helicopters, planes, watercraft and searches on foot and by vehicle along the coastlines of North Stradbroke and Moreton islands.

Police found the wreckage of the light plane at 2.30pm on Wednesday in about 36 meters of water north of Moreton Island.

The bodies of the pair were not located.

Police will prepare a report for the coroner.

EARLIER, 27 January

Police continue their search for the man and woman whose plane went missing in the Moreton Bay area after a distress call on January 22.

Further debris has been found as far south as North Stradbroke Island.

Sonar imaging searches will continue along North Moreton Island.

Land, beach, air and water searches will continue to look for debris and includes police, Surf Life Saving Queensland and Volunteer Marine Rescue.

Aerial searches of an area north of Stradbroke Island have been done by helicopter and patrols of the shoreline of Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands by police in vehicles and on foot.

UPDATE 9.02AM:

Police will continue their search today for the man and the woman whose plane went missing in Moreton Bay after a distress call on January 22.

Due to the tides, the search area has expanded to include the area north of North Stradbroke Island.

Two water police vessels are conducting extensive sonar imaging searches in the Flinders Reef area north of Moreton Island.

Three Volunteer Marine Rescue vessels are also searching for debris in an area north of Stradbroke and jet ski searches are under way in the South Passage Bar area at Moreton Island.

Aerial searches of an area north of Stradbroke will be completed today by helicopter and patrols of the shoreline of Moreton and Stradbroke islands by police in vehicles and on foot.

UPDATE 2.45pm

POLICE say there is a slim chance of survival for a couple who were aboard a plane believed to have crashed near Moreton Island.

Inspector Craig White said next of kin were aware of the situation.

"It's a terrible time for the family because they still have no certainty as to the welfare of their loved ones."

Earlier this afternoon, Inspector White said police would conduct sonar searches of the seabed and divers could be deployed if any significant debris was found.

He said the 70-year-old Wakerley man was an experienced pilot.

EARLIER

A MAJOR air and water search is continuing for a plane believed to have crashed near Moreton Island on Wednesday afternoon.

Police said debris from the plane, including sheet metal and a nose wheel, had been found in waters off the island.

The 70-year-old male pilot and 52-year-old female passenger - both from Wakerley - had set off from Caloundra in the hired light aircraft about 3.30pm and headed towards Moreton Island.

A distress call was received about 4.30pm.

Police said helicopters and a jet as well as Coast Guard, VMR and water police boats and fishing trawlers had been deployed.

SEARCH: Moreton Island from the air.

SEARCH: Moreton Island from the air.

Debris was found at 8.30pm but weather conditions meant the search was suspended about 1am on Thursday.

It resumed this morning with about 12 vessels - including a Raby Bay VMR boat - now helping in search efforts, covering about 500 square kilometres around the island.

Police are also searching on foot along the Moreton Island coast.