Search over for vintage Dragon aircraft
ITWAS meant to be a joy flight with friends as part of the Monto Fly In weekend.
But a couple of hours into the flight, biplane pilot Des Porter and his passengers found themselves in thick cloud and made an emergency call for help.
Late yesterday afternoon, the worst fears of family and friends were confirmed with the news that the wreckage had been found – and all six on board had died.
The wrecked plane was found west of Imbil following an extensive search operation which began after the vintage DeHavilland DH84 Dragon 2 biplane – one of only four in the world – failed to arrive at the Caboolture Airport on Monday afternoon.
An AGL Action Rescue Helicopter spokesman confirmed six bodies had been found at the wreckage, which was in the original search zone around the Borumba Dam area.
Two AGL Action Rescue Helicopters had been able to land about 200 metres from the crash site. The crash was described as being high impact. “The plane is not in a condition that you would recognise as a plane,” an Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesman said.
“They have hit the ground exceedingly hard and the aircraft is fundamentally destroyed.”
Authorities believed the biplane ran out of fuel about 2.30pm on Monday over the Jimna Range near Kilcoy.
A Nine News helicopter picked up a distress call from the plane about 1pm on Monday, and the helicopter pilot said Mr Porter was having difficulty positioning himself and wanted help.
The deceased are: Des, his 61-year-old wife Kath Porter, both from Tingalpa, and friends Les D’evlin, 75, and his 61-year-old wife Janice D’evlin from Manly West and John Dawson, 75, and his wife Carol Dawson, 63, also from Tingalpa.
PILOT: Des Porter with the restored biplane.