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  1. ITV Report

Three Britons die after light aircraft crashes near Dubai International Airport

The four-seat plane plummeted to the ground around three miles south of Dubai International Airport. Credit: AP

Three Britons have died after a UK-registered light aircraft crashed in Dubai, authorities said.

The four-seat plane plummeted to the ground around three miles south of Dubai International Airport, killing all four people on board, according to the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

Three UK citizens and one South African died, it added in a statement. The crash happened as the DA42 aircraft was "on a mission to calibrate terrestrial navigation systems at the airport", said the GCAA.

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A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are working closely with the Emirati authorities following reports of a small aircraft crash in Dubai."

The Diamond DA42 aircraft is described as having a "high degree of crashworthiness" and being "easy to fly and burns fuel like a single, but with the added safety of a second engine" on the Diamond website.

The aircraft, which has an all-carbon airframe, has a maximum speed of 226mph, can operate at a maximum altitude of 18,000ft and weighs 1,410kg, the site added.

Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest by international passenger traffic, was closed between 7.36pm and 8.22pm local time before reopening, said Dubai Airports.

The aircraft was owned by Honeywell, a US-based multinational involved in engineering and aerospace systems, according to the Government of Dubai media office.

Authorities gave no explanation for what caused the crash of the aircraft, a Diamond DA62 with a tail number belonging to Flight Calibrations Service Ltd. of Shoreham, West Sussex.