ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Four Americans aboard a turboprop plane were killed when their aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff in the United Arab Emirates, U.S. and Emirati officials said Monday.
Investigators were examining the wreckage to determine a possible cause for the fiery Sunday evening crash. The identities of those killed — the only people on board — were not immediately disclosed.
A statement by the U.S. Embassy to local media said the plane was en route to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on the first leg of a trip back to the United States.
The twin-engine plane — apparently a vintage aircraft that had been modified — went down moments after taking off at Al Ain International Airport about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Abu Dhabi. A statement by the UAE's Civil Aviation Authority said it crashed the taxiway before catching fire.
The plane was reported to be a McKinnon Turbo Goose G21G, which is a version of an earlier Grumman G21 aircraft converted from piston engines to turboprops.
The Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National reported the plane is owned by Triple S Aviation, a Texas-based aircraft service company with a branch office in Dubai. The company's website says it offers business aircraft, helicopters, and special use aircraft to the Middle East and South Asian markets.