A Queensland Police plane has been forced to make an emergency landing after plummeting mid-air during a flight from Brisbane to Townsville.
Police Minister Mark Ryan, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Martin, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll and Maritime Safety Queensland head Captain Partick Quirk were all on board, along with a government staffer.
They were travelling to meet premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at an Australia Day event when the Cessna plane suddenly started to plunge towards the ground near Bundaberg.
Those onboard are understood to have heard a series of loud bangs, with smoke inside the cabin.
The pilots were forced to return the aircraft to the Government Air Wing in Brisbane at a low altitude and speed for an emergency landing, a government spokesman said.
An investigation will be conducted into the incident.