The chilling final words of a pilot as he sat beside his wife on a doomed flight have been revealed.
The 70-year-old and his 52-year-old wife from Brisbane were on a scenic flight to Moreton Island when their hired aircraft disappeared on Wednesday afternoon.
The plane vanished over Queensland waters moments after the pilot made an urgent distress call before losing contact with flight controllers.
The chilling last words a pilot sent over the radio as the plane he was flying (pictured) was going down with him and his wife on board have been revealed
'Mayday, mayday, mayday, Whiskey November Romeo,' were the frantic words of the experienced pilot at about 4.30pm on Wednesday as the plane slammed into the ocean.
Experienced pilot and TV traffic reporter Ben Mihan was in the air at the time and told The Courier Mail he heard the mayday call on his radio.
'It was a gut wrenching feeling. As a pilot I knew that when a plane goes off the radar like that... something catastrophic had happened,' he said.
Authorities have called off the search for the couple, with the chances of survival impossible.
'All evidence indicates the aircraft ditched into the water at high speed,' the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.
'Significant amounts of debris belonging to the aircraft have been recovered to the east of Moreton Island.'
The search for the couple, from Brisbane's southern bayside suburbs, will move into a recovery phase.
Officials repeatedly attempted to make contact with the man after the mayday call but the audio showed he didn't respond.
The couple were due to return to the Sunshine Coast later on Wednesday after hiring the plane from a flight school based there.
Michael and Amy Rowe owned and rented the aircraft that crashed to the couple.
The plane vanished over Queensland waters moments after a the pilot made an urgent distress call, 'Mayday, mayday, mayday, Whiskey November Romeo', before losing contact with flight controllers (RACQ search helicopter pictured)
The 70-year-old pilot and his 52-year-old wife from Brisbane were on a scenic flight to Moreton Island (pictured) when the aircraft disappeared from radar
'We are absolutely heartbroken for the family,' Ms Rowe told the ABC.
The pilot was understood to be experienced, and it was not the first time he had flown that particular aircraft.
A wheel and sheet metal from the body of the plane are among the scattered pieces of debris found north of Moreton Island about four hours after the crash.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident.
A search for the couple, from Brisbane's southern bayside suburbs, will move into a recovery phase after debris was found on the water (Poice helicopter pictured searching for the plane)
Air assets were assisting with the search include the AMSA Challenger jet, and six helicopters, while officers searched on foot