THREE Britons have died after a plane crashed in Dubai yesterday evening.

The UK-registered aircraft was owned by Flight Calibration Services which is based at Shoreham Airport in West Sussex.

The four-seat plane plummeted to the ground about three miles south of Dubai International Airport, killing all four people on board.

Reports say the crash happened at about 7.30pm local time leading to the death of the pilot, co-pilot and two passengers.

Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest by international passenger traffic, was closed for more than 45 minutes after the incident.

The General Civil Aviation Authority said the plane was “on a mission to calibrate terrestrial navigation systems at the airport”.

In November Flight Calibration Services said it had secured a contract to carry out work at Dubai International Airport.

The aircraft was a Diamond DA62 which was “engaged” by US aerospace and engineering company Honeywell.

The Dubai media office had previously said the plane was owned by the company.

A Honeywell spokesman said: “We are deeply saddened by today’s plane crash in Dubai, and our heartfelt condolences are with the victims’ families.

“The plane was not owned or operated by Honeywell but by a third party engaged by Honeywell. We are waiting for more details.”

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

The incident is now being investigated.

The Diamond DA42 aircraft is described on the Diamond website 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”.

The Diamond website added: “Diamond’s industry-leading safety record is the result of our commitment to protecting you and your passengers with a long list of active and passive safety features.

“Active safety features help to avoid accidents in the first place, the first and most important line of defence.

“Passive safety features are designed to minimise the probability and degree of injury, in case the unexpected happens.

“The DA42 offers the ultimate in handling, stability and control, ease of operation and structural, system and propulsion redundancies, all coupled with a high degree of crashworthiness.”

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.