No mayday calls in deadly Qld plane crash

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Investigators combing the wreckage of a light plane crash that claimed the lives of three people said there was no mayday call before the aircraft plummeted to the ground.

The four-seat Cessna R182 crashed on Monday in dense bushland near Fernvale en route to Archerfield Airport, in southern Brisbane, from Dalby on the Darling Downs.

Prominent Queensland agricultural leader Tom Strachan, was killed in the crash, along with his 20-year-old son Noah and pilot Garry Liehm, 63.

Mr Strachan was an executive director at agri-business Packhorse, which paid tribute to the men on Tuesday.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Tom Strachan and his son Noah, along with their pilot Garry Liehm," the company said in a statement.

"Tom was an inspiring entrepreneur. He was a generous and charismatic man with a passion for regenerative agriculture. Today our focus is on supporting his family and friends."

Mr Liehm was an experienced pilot with an unblemished safety record in flying fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters.

"We and the entire flying community are devastated by what has happened. Words cannot express how we feel for both families," a spokesman for Mr Liehm's company Executive Helicopters told AAP.

"Tom has been a regular passenger with Garry and the two had developed a strong friendship.

"He (Mr Liehm) was a highly respected member of the aviation community and his level of focus on aircraft and passenger safety was exemplary."

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has sent a team to the crash site to collect any relevant components for further analysis, Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said on Tuesday.

While the investigation is in its infancy, investigators will review flight data, weather information, and witness reports along with aircraft operator procedures and maintenance records.

"There's a number of factors that we'll be looking at here from the aircraft itself and from the pilot, but equally the weather conditions," Mr Mitchell said.

"All of those things will be part of the investigation as we try to build a picture of what were the circumstances at the time and what potentially has gone wrong."

No mayday calls were reported and it was not until four hours after the flight went missing that the alarm was raised.

Challenging weather conditions continue to play havoc as investigators attempt to determine the flight's final moments.

Queensland police inspector Mick Thiesfield said the primary focus was the safe retrieval of the bodies.

"Then ensuring the scene's security so we can get an accurate picture of what happened with the assistance of the (ATSB)," he told reporters.

Police expect to be on scene until at least Wednesday.

The Cessna R182 light aircraft took off from Dalby at 9am and was due to land at Archerfield at 10am. A search found the plane about 2.50pm in dense bushland.

The three occupants were pronounced dead on site.

Investigators are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the aircraft travelling through the Fernvale or Lowood area after 9am, or heard a plane flying low, to come forward.

The accident is the 14th fatal aviation incident across the country this year, taking the toll of people who have lost their lives to 20.

A preliminary ATSB report into the crash is expected within the next eight weeks.