Friends Serkan Özcezarlı and Hakan Çetinkaya, both 46, were pronounced dead at the scene after their two-seater Italian-made ICP Ventura Ultralight “training” plane spiralled out of control, hitting the ground near the runway and bursting into flames.
Firefighters rushed to the scene and “rapidly put out the fire” but medics were unable to save the two men.The exact cause of the accident has yet to be determined.
While Geçitkale airport is not open to passenger or commercial air traffic, it is occasionally used for training purposes and for model aircraft shows.
The crash was the first fatal air incident in North Cyprus since 15 people died when a Talia Airways Boeing 727 smashed into the Five Finger Mountains on February 27, 1988.
It was also the first ever fatal “general aviation accident”, referring to incidents involving non-commercial aircraft, in the TRNC.
Air crash investigators from Turkey’s General Directorate of Civil Aviation arrived on the island on Wednesday, under a bilateral agreement with the TRNC, to assess the cordoned-off wreckage.
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