Plane tragedy | 

Two confirmed dead following light aircraft crash in Newtownards, Co Down

The community is said to be “in shock” following the incident at the airport, where mangled wreckage could be seen burning on Tuesday evening as firefighters sprayed water over the small plane.
The scene at Newtownards airfield Credit: Kevin Scott for the Belfast Telegraph

The scene at Newtownards airfield Credit: Kevin Scott for the Belfast Telegraph

Emergency services at the scene of a major light aircraft crash in Newtownards

Emergency services at the scene of a major light aircraft crash in Newtownards © Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Christopher Leebody and Brett CampbellBelfast Telegraph

Two people are confirmed to have died at Newtownards Airport in Co Down after a plane crash on Tuesday evening.

Police 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 community is said to be “in shock” following the incident at the airport, where mangled wreckage could be seen burning on Tuesday evening as firefighters sprayed water over the small plane.

The Ambulance Service said on Tuesday no patients were taken from the scene.

Police and emergency services attending Newtownards Airport in County Down, following a crash involving an aircraft. Picture date: Tuesday July 19, 2022.

Police and emergency services attending Newtownards Airport in County Down, following a crash involving an aircraft. Picture date: Tuesday July 19, 2022.© PA

A spokesman said they received a 999 call at 8.21pm following reports of an incident on Portaferry Road, Newtownards. Two emergency crews, a doctor and an ambulance officer were despatched to the incident.

One eyewitness at the scene told the Belfast Telegraph the plane crashed into hedges located near the Cloud 9 restaurant.

“An ambulance has left the scene, but fire crews are still there,” they said.

“Lots of people are gathering round to see what is happening.

"There’s a police car stationed at the main entrance.”

The Ards airfield is the home of the Ulster Flying Club, where many have learned to fly in small trainer aircraft such as Cessnas.

In a statement, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Police and other emergency services are currently in attendance at the scene of a crash involving a light aircraft at Newtownards airport. There are no further details.”

Emergency services at the scene of a major light aircraft crash in Newtownards

Emergency services at the scene of a major light aircraft crash in Newtownards © Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also confirmed crews were at the scene.

They said the crew was tasked to the scene at around 8.20pm and three appliances were still in attendance last night.

Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong expressed concern following the incident.

“It looks like a light aircraft has crashed upon landing,” she said.

“There’s a lot of fire engines at the scene and the situation is very worrying.

“It was a fine evening with no fog or obvious weather issues.”

The Alliance representative said whoever was in the aircraft are likely members of the Ulster Flying Club.

“A lot of people book flight experiences at the airport,” she explained.

“But it wouldn’t be leisure flyers given the time it happened at.”


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