Police open investigation after two people die in Newtownards airplane crash

A police investigation is underway following the death of two people in an airplane crash in Newtownards. separate investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.It happened on Tuesday night at the town's airfield.

In a statement earlier, the PSNI said: "Police can confirm that two people have died following a crash involving a light aircraft at Newtownards Airport on Tuesday evening," they said in a statement.

"It was reported to police at 8.20pm that a light aircraft had crashed at the airport. Officers and other emergency services attended the scene.

"Sadly, two people were pronounced dead."

The PSNI said their investigation will run separate to another investigation being carried out by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

A spokesperson for the AAIB said: “An accident involving a light aircraft which occurred last night near Newtownards, County Down has been notified to the AAIB.

"An investigation has begun and a team of inspectors are on their way to the accident site.”

Alliance Party councillor Vicky Moore lives near the airport and visited the scene following the crash on Tuesday evening.

She said: "It is a huge shock to the community and obviously all our thoughts are with the families of those who have been affected and particularly those that have died in the accident.

"Really the airport here in Newtownards is part of the community, it is very busy, it has been a fixture in the town for a very, very long time.

"Local people are used to the activity at the airport and this will be a terrible shock to them."

She added: "I live under the flight path, probably about 10-15 minutes' walk away.

"I was at the scene last night. Police were preventing anyone from getting access to the airport but you could see that a number of emergency vehicles were there.

"This is a very rare occurrence bearing in mind the amount of activity there is at the airport.

"It is mostly flying schools who use it, pleasure flying, small, independent and private aircraft use it.

"The airfield is so popular, it is not expected that something like this would happen."

In a statement, the Ulster Flying Club said: “On behalf of the Chairman, Directors, members and staff of the Ulster Flying Club, it is with great sadness and regret that we must share the tragic news that two of our club members lost their lives in the aircraft crash that took place at our airfield in Newtownards.”

Emergency services had rushed airfield on Portaferry Road following a 999 call at 8.21pm on Tuesday.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service attended, and said no patients were taken from the scene on the in the town.

In a statement, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call at 8.21pm following reports of an incident on the Portaferry Road, Newtownards.

"NIAS despatched two emergency crews, a doctor and an ambulance officer to the incident," it said.

"No patients were taken from the scene."