INVESTIGATORS are hoping data from various pieces of equipment retrieved from a Dragon bi-plane which went down near Gympie may provide clues as to the cause of the crash.
Highly experienced pilot Des Porter, who operated out of Caboolture, and his five passengers, died when the plane crashed into a ridge south-west of Gympie on October 1.
Investigators are studying the aircraft's GPS, however a report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau says data may not be able to be recovered from the device.
The vintage 1934 de Havilland DH84 Dragon bi-plane went down in the Sunshine Coast hinterland on October 1 and was not found until October 3.
Mr Porter survived a plane crash that killed his father and brother as a boy.
Mr Porter, 68, and his wife Kath, 61, Les D'Evlin, 75, and his wife Janice, 61, and John and Carol Dawson, both 63, had been at a vintage air show in Monto.
They had been fundraising for AGL action rescue helicopter service which later joined the search for the plane.
ATSB hopes to release a preliminary report by the end of the month after interviewing witnesses and salvaging parts of the plane.
They were able to recover both engines and propellers, as well as a number of aircraft instruments.
Several electrical and communication devices are also being examined.
ATSB investigators have worked alongside Queensland police sifting through the aircraft wreckage and examining the accident site in detail,'' an ATSB report said.
"Although the site was somewhat difficult to access, and the extent of the damage to the aircraft made conditions difficult, the investigators have now finished the on-site phase of the investigation and will shortly commence drafting a preliminary factual report.
"The ATSB aims to release this report to the public within 30 days of the accident.
Despite the on-site challenges, the ATSB investigators:
- retained several aircraft items and components for further examination including:
- retrieved a Global Positioning System unit circuit board from the wreckage, although impact damage to the board may preclude the recovery of any data
- interviewed a number of witnesses who saw the aircraft prior to the accident
- surveyed the site in detail
- both engines and propellers
- a number of aircraft instruments
- several electrical and communications devices from which relevant data may be able to be recovered.
As part of the ongoing investigation, investigators will examine the:
- relevant air traffic radar and radio recordings
- weather information pertinent to the flight
- witness reports
- aircraft's maintenance records
pilot's records and history.