The wreckage of a Twin Otter aircraft missing in Antarctica has been found and the three-member Canadian crew is believed to be dead.

Two helicopters from the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in New Zealand have confirmed earlier sightings of the wreckage of the plane operated by Kenn Borek Air of Calgary on a steep slope near the summit of Mount Elizabeth.

Officials at the centre say the impact would not have been survivable and that the next of kin of the three men have been informed.

The pilot has been identified as Bob Heath of Inuvik and a second crew member as Mike Denton, a newlywed from Calgary.

The third crew member has not yet been identified.

The plane took off Wednesday from the South Pole, headed to an Italian base in Antarctica's Terra Nova Bay, but it never arrived.

It's emergency locator beacon was detected, however bad weather prevented search and rescue teams from flying to the scene until yesterday.

Kenn Borek Air says rescue personnel will try to access the crash site this morning -- weather permitting.

But officials say no decisions have been made yet on any recovery mission.