A Queensland pilot who died in a light plane crash in far north Queensland on Saturday was a "real character" who loved life and flying.
William Scott-Bloxam, known as Scotty, was piloting a rare twin-engine light aircraft that crashed into a cornfield near the Mareeba airport west of Cairns soon after 11am on Sunday.
A 63-year-old man from Stuart also died in the crash.
Mr Scott-Bloxam, 73, was the pilot from the 2008 flight to the Papuan town of Merauke that went wrong when Indonesian authorities detained the group for entering without a visa.
Cook Shire Council mayor Peter Scott says Mr Scott-Bloxam was a "real character" who loved life.
"Scotty was a real character and people enjoyed his company," Cr Scott told AAP.
"He was an outgoing, focused sort of bloke and he would take anything on."
Mr Scott-Bloxam, with his wife Vera, ran Milkwood Lodge accommodation just outside of Cooktown.
The couple had lived in the town, with a population of 3000, for more than 20 years, according to Cr Scott.
Mr Scott-Bloxam was often away for work, recently flying mostly into Queensland's Cape York Peninsula.
"Scott love flying more than anything, " Cr Scott said.
Mr and Mrs Scott-Bloxam, and three other passengers, spent nine months in immigration detention and jail cells after flying into the Indonesian province of Papua without visas in 2008.
Mr Scott-Bloxam was sentenced to three years jail.
But the five had their convictions overturned and were allowed to return to Australia.
Shortly after touching down on Horn Island, in the Torres Strait, in June 2009, Mr Scott-Bloxam said, "I feel like a goldfish that has escaped a pool of piranhas".
Mr and Mrs Scott-Bloxam's son died while they were being held in Merauke.
Police and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will scour the site of the crash of the Angel Aircraft Corporation Model 44 Angel plane.
The Far North Queensland Aviation Museum reported on social media that the Angel aircraft was the only type in Australia and believed to be one of a few left in the world.
The plane was believed to be involved in a training exercise when it crashed, the ABC reported.
Australian Associated Press