Light plane crashes in Far North Queensland cornfield, killing two
Photo: An Angel 44 twin-engine plane similar to this crashed near Mareeba Aerodrome. (angelaircraft.com)
Two men have died in a light plane crash near the Mareeba Aerodrome, west of Cairns.
The twin-engine propeller plane came down in a cornfield at the end of the aerodrome and rescue crews arrived on scene at 11:30am.
Authorities said the Angel Aircraft Corporation Model 44 Angel twin-engine light plane made a "heavy impact".
The 73-year-old pilot from Cooktown and his 63-year-old passenger from Stuart were pronounced dead at the scene.
Detective Acting Inspector Kev Goan said one of the men died on impact, while the other survived the crashed but could not be saved by paramedics and died at the scene.
"Support was rendered through the Queensland Ambulance Service and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services also attended in the hope they could render assistance to a second person in the aircraft," he said.
"Unfortunately those attempts were in vain. The second person has now passed away."
Acting Inspector Goan said it appeared the aircraft was being used in a training exercise.
He said witnesses reported hearing the plane's engines making unusual noises.
"Then of course we were notified to the crash," he said.
The Angel 44 is an aircraft of unusual design, with engines and propellers positioned at the back of the wings instead of the front.
Acting Inspector Goan said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) would take carriage of the investigation and try to piece together the events leading up to the crash.
"Of course we [the QPS] will be working with them to deliver answers for the family, friends and loved ones, of the gentlemen who are now deceased," he said.
The ATSB released a statement saying it had launched an investigation into the Angel Aircraft Corporation Model 44 Angel twin-engine light plane's "fatal collision with terrain".
"A team of transport safety investigators with experience in aircraft operations, aircraft maintenance and data recovery from the ATSB's Brisbane and Canberra offices are preparing to deploy to Mareeba to examine the wreckage and accident site," the ATSB said in a statement.
The North Queensland Aero Club said via social media it was not involved "in any way".
"Our thoughts go out to those involved," the club said in a Facebook post.
It is the second fatal light plane crash in Queensland in less than a week.
Last Sunday morning, two men were killed when their plane came down at Captain Creek, near Agnes Water in central Queensland.