Two people who died when their light aircraft crashed and caught fire near Nutts Corner in Co Antrim are said to have been “experienced pilots”.
Both were members of the Ulster Flying Club, based at Newtownards airfield in Co Down, according to DUP MP Jim Shannon.
“They were very much involved in (aviation) and experienced pilots,” he said.
“There is no doubt that is the case, whatever the reason for the accident.”
The Cessna plane came down shortly before 12.30pm on Thursday, close to a wooded area just a few miles from Belfast International Airport.
Police, paramedics, firefighters and an air ambulance attended the scene.
Air accident investigators are looking into the circumstances surrounding the crash.
Mr Shannon said the investigation would be thorough.
“The focus has to be on the families - there are two empty chairs, their families are grieving, and we need to focus on how we support the families,” he added.
“The flying club is a very strong fraternity, they are a family and they will gather round and support each other.”