At least four people died in a crash involving a small plane on a mission to calibrate terrestrial navigation systems at the Dubai International Airport (DXB), the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) announced on Thursday evening.
The UK-registered DA42 plane had four crew members – three British and one South African on board when the incident happened three miles to the south of DXB.
“An accident involving a small plane with four passengers occurred, (that) caused in the death of the pilot and his assistant. The relevant teams are on the scene,” the Dubai Media office tweeted.
“The small UK-registered plane, owned by Honeywell, had four passengers on board, when it crashed due to a technical malfunction,” it said in follow-up tweet.
“We are deeply saddened by the news that a small, chartered plane crashed in Dubai yesterday evening and our heartfelt condolences are with the victims’ families. A Honeywell employee was among the four victims. The plane was not owned or operated by Honeywell but by a third party engaged by Honeywell,” Honeywell said in a statement.
Commenting on the deaths of three British nationals, a UK Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the families of three British people who died following a small aircraft crash in Dubai. They have our deepest sympathies at this very difficult time. Our staff are in contact with the UAE authorities.”
There was almost an hour’s delay and diversion of some flights, as a precautionary measure to ensure security following a minor incident, a DXB spokesperson told Khaleej Times.
“Dubai Airports can confirm that operations at Dubai International were suspended from 19:36 to 20:22 UAE local time due to an incident involving a small non-commercial aircraft in the vicinity of the airport,” the spokesperson said.