Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

Honeywell employee among four killed in Dubai plane crash

Company plane belonged to third-party engaged by the US conglomerate

Police and flight crash investigation vehicles near the site of the incident in Dubai. AP Photo / Jon Gambrell
Police and flight crash investigation vehicles near the site of the incident in Dubai. AP Photo / Jon Gambrell

A Honeywell International employee was among four people killed when a small plane crashed near Dubai International Airport on Thursday, temporarily halting traffic at the world's busiest international hub.

The Diamond DA42 aircraft belongs to a third party engaged by Honeywell, the technology and manufacturing company said in a statement on Friday. Honeywell's aerospace division supplies parts such as auxiliary power units, cockpit avionics and flight management systems as well as plane wheels and brakes for a range of aircraft types.

"A Honeywell employee was among the four victims," the company said, without identifying the person. “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."

The crashed aircraft was a DA42 model, manufactured by Chinese company Diamond Aircraft Industries, based in Austria. Image Dubai Media Office via Twitter
The crashed aircraft was a DA42 model, manufactured by Chinese company Diamond Aircraft Industries, based in Austria. Image Dubai Media Office via Twitter

The four-seat Diamond DA42, registered in the UK, was on a mission to calibrate navigation systems at the airport, which is undergoing repair work on one of its two runways. Dubai International, the hub for long-haul giant Emirates, halted operations between 7.36pm and 8.22pm because of the crash before resuming services.

The police, civil aviation investigators, and paramedics were working on the crash site in the aftermath of the incident. The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said it dispatched its investigators to the scene.

Three Britons and one South African on the plane were killed when the twin-engine propeller aircraft came down about 5 kilometres south of the airport, the GCAA said.

The plane crashed due to a technical malfunction, the Dubai Media Office said in a tweet without elaborating.

The plane’s tail number belongs to Flight Calibrations Service based in the UK, AP reported.

The UK company declined to comment when contacted by The National.

Dubai International is currently operating at a reduced capacity because of ongoing work to one of its runways - scheduled to go on for 45 days from April 16 to to May 30 - for resurfacing and replacement of ground lighting and other infrastructure.

Airlines had to cut back on some of their scheduled flights or redirect others to Dubai's second hub Al Maktoum International Airport, or DWC as it's known.

Dubai is a major global aviation hub and is seeking to boost the number of tourists as part of efforts to diversify its economy.

The emirate's last major aircraft accident was in August 2016 when Emirates Flight 521, from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, crashed on the runway at Dubai International. All 300 passengers and crew survived, with 30 taken to hospital, mostly with minor injuries or for precautionary check-ups. The fuel tank of the Boeing 777 exploded in an ensuing blaze, killing firefighter Jassim Al Baloushi, 27, from Ras Al Khaimah.

Updated: May 17, 2019 03:15 PM

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