Scary figures of Aussie flight crashes
A GOLD Coast father and son who died in a small plane crash are the second to die in a fatal flight crash in just two weeks and the fifth fatal crash nationwide in just four months.
The figures are a scary reminder for Australians travelling in small aircraft across Australia after another crash two weeks earlier, where frustrating attempts to find a helicopter that authorities say crashed into ocean on September 8 off the New South Wales coast failed.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau announced it will investigate the latest collision of the Mooney light aircraft VH-DJU, which was reported missing on Friday.
Wreckage of the aircraft, which was on a private flight from Murwillumbah to Taree, was found in the Dorrigo National Park, west of Coffs Harbour, on Saturday morning, it tweeted.
NSW Police reached the scene of the plane crash west of Coffs Harbour to confirm the two men on board have been found deceased.
Earlier, wreckage of the plane had been found in steep and heavily wooded forest near where it dropped off NSW radar but were unable to access the crash site due to poor weather conditions with rain and low cloud extending to ground level.
The condition of the two people on board remained unclear at the time.
NSW Police were attempting attempting to reach the plane - about 27 kilometres inland from Coffs Harbour - after a helicopter crew located the plane about 6.30am.
Rain and low clouds extending to the ground prevented the helicopter being able to winch a person to the site, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.
AMSA, which led the search, said the ground-level NSW Police effort to reach the plan would take "some time" as weather conditions remained poor and the terrain was steep and heavily wooded.
The light plane departed Murwillumbah in northern NSW at 6.30am on Friday and was scheduled to arrive in Taree at 8am.
AMSA was alerted on Friday morning by the pilot's associates concerned it hadn't reached its destination.
The men - believed to be aged their 50s and 20s and from the Gold Coast area - are yet to be formally identified.
In an interview with ABC, NSW Police said personnel were attempting to access the site from the ground, because the site was located in steep and heavily wooded terrain.
"The site's located in quite rugged terrain … this is going to take quite some time," said Sam Cardwell from AMSA.
Its last known communications were about 7.30am.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) have been informed and will be responsible for any investigation into the crash.
The men's family is being apprised of the situation.
The aircraft belonged to Brisbane Helicopters owner and pilot David Kerr, who is believed to have been flying it at the time. The experienced pilot and a Sydney married couple are thought to be among the five feared victims. Two friends of Mr Kerr from Queensland were also on board, The Sunday Mail reported.
The privately owned Bell UH1 helicopter went missing in rough winds and storms at about 6.30pm on Friday evening off Anna Bay near Newcastle.
A major air and sea search operation spotted the tail rotor of the aircraft before 9am Saturday and the main airframe was sighted 30 minutes later, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.