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No survivors in QLD plane crash
Rescuers search the plane crsh site. Picture: Twitter/Channel Nine

All six people died when a vintage plane crashed north of Brisbane, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

A photo of the crash site posted on Twitter shows the plane disintegrated when it hit the ground north of the Borumba Dam, which is south of Gympie.

Authorities said it was a “high impact” crash site.

AMSA said the search - which had involved up to 16 helicopters and an aircraft - had been suspended.

“The search for a missing aircraft in south-east Queensland has been suspended following the confirmed sighting of the wreckage this afternoon,” AMSA said in a statement.

“An AGL Action rescue helicopter sighted the red biplane north of Borumba Dam before 2pm.

“The search team has confirmed there are no survivors.

“Queensland Police are on the scene and continuing further investigations.”

A spokesperson for the AGL Action Rescue Helicopter Service said two of its choppers were able to land 200 metres from the crash site.

The helicopter's flight doctor and flight paramedic remain at the scene, while other helicopters have been released from the search zone.

The discovery is a devastating blow for the families of the six aboard, including pilot Des Porter, 68, and his wife Kath, 61, from the Brisbane suburb of Tingalpa.

The crash also killed their long-time friends Les D'evlin, 75, and his wife Janice, 61, of Manly West, and John and Carol Dawson, both 63, also of Tingalpa.

Mr Porter, his wife and their friends died in the same red 1930s de Havilland Dragon that crashed in 1954, killing his father and 13-year-old brother.

Mr Porter was in the plane when it went down the first time, but the then 11-year-old was plucked from the fuselage as the tide came in on that crash site in Bulimba Creek in Brisbane.

Mr Porter radioed air traffic controllers on Monday afternoon, near Caboolture, saying he was in trouble in cloudy conditions and was having trouble fixing his position.

The plane's distress beacon was activated shortly afterwards.

The group was returning to Caboolture after spending the day raising money for charity by conducting joy flights at the Monto Fly-In in central Queensland.

AMSA search and rescue chief co-ordination officer Mike Barton said the crash site was 14km north-west of the Borumba Dam wall.

He said it was right in the middle of the broad search zone, in an area probably covered yesterday.

A helicopter crew spotted a piece of “red or crimson wreckage“ and identified the registration letters “DH”.

“The plane is not in a condition that you would recognise,” he said at the Sunshine Coast airport.

“They have hit the ground exceedingly hard and the aircraft is fundamentally destroyed.”

Mr Barton said the next of kin had been notified, and the recovery effort would take some time given the crash site was in a remote and heavily wooded area.

He said he personally knew the pilot and the discovery was a blow for everyone who knew Mr Porter and his five passengers.

“I personally knew the pilot,” Mr Barton said saying he'd had to put that relationship to one side during the search.

“It was always our hope today that we'd find this site, and we'd find survivors but that is not the case.”

Mr Barton said the antique plane community would miss Mr Porter deeply, and he felt deeply for the family and friends of all six people who perished.

He said there was nothing to indicate what had caused the crash, and that was now a matter for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which would launch a full investigation.