Hope dims on finding vintage plane crash survivors off Australia coast

Dec. 16, 2013 at 9:56 AM   |   0 comments

BRISBANE, Australia, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Officials say they fear two people died when a vintage Tiger Moth airplane crashed into the water off the coast of Australia's Queensland state Monday.

Authorities said they believe the pilot was taking a French tourist on a pleasure flight when the biplane hit the water near the Couran Cove resort on South Stradbroke Island at a high speed, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Salvage teams and rescue divers found the wreckage of the plane, but no signs of survivors, police said.

"We've already been conducting a search in the area and the on-scene commander has informed me it's now in the recovery phase," Senior Sgt. Lucas Young said.

ABC said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will investigate the crash to determine its cause.

The Tiger Moth is a 1930s-vintage biplane used primarily by the air forces of Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand as a training aircraft.

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