NEWS: Pilot found dead after aircraft crashes off Queensland Island

The pilot and sole occupant of an ultra light aircraft which crashed into the ocean off North Stradbroke Island has been found dead.

Wreckage of crashed aircraft spotted by media helicopter. (Channels 7 & 9)

An Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesman confirmed the aircraft was a two-seater and the 60-year-old male pilot was the only person on board.

He has been identified by police but next of kin are yet to be notified.

He took off from Dunwich on the western side of North Stradbroke Island about 10:00am but his intended destination was unknown.

At an afternoon press conference, Acting Superintendent Steve Dabinet said they were talking to three witnesses who saw the plane go down.

“There will be an investigation and we have an expert coming from Melbourne who will be assisting us with our report for the coroner,” he said.

Superintendent Dabinet asked for any witnesses yet to speak to police to call CrimeStoppers or Policelink.

Earlier, a Queensland Police Service (QPS) spokesman said the crashed aircraft had the capacity to carry six people, but they could not confirm how many people were on board at the time of the crash.

Superintendent Dabinet said 12 marine vessels and two helicopters helped with the search after a distress beacon was activated about 11:30am eight kilometres south-east off Point Lookout.

Images snapped from a jointly-funded helicopter showed what appeared to be aircraft wreckage in the water.

QPS said Water Police and POLAIR were also providing assistance.

An exclusion zone was set up encompassing George Northling Drive and The Causeway.

Police said the incident occurred off shore, within three kilometres of the Surf Lifesaving Club on North Stradbroke Island.

They said it was not known what caused the crash.

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