The light aircraft that crashed in East Yorkshire on Wednesday night, killing both people on board, was on its way south from the Borders, police have confirmed.
Humberside police and the Department for Transport’s air accidents investigation branch (AAIB) are investigating the tragedy, but neither would say whereabouts in the region the aeroplane had taken off from.
The four-seat Reims Cessna F172N crashed near woodland in a farm field close to the hamlet of Wilfholme about a mile short of Beverley Airfield, near Leven.
The two men killed in the crash have been named locally as Richard Lewis and Tony Cook,both members of Hull Rugby Club, but those names have not yet been officially released by police.
A Humberside police spokesperson said: “Two people who were in the plane sadly died in the crash, which was called in to us around 7.30pm.
“Their families have been informed, and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
“An extensive multi-agency search was immediately launched across a large rural area to find the plane, which included numerous members of the public who offered their help.
“The plane was found in the corner of a field some distance away from the road.
“The aircraft was flying south from the Scottish Borders and came down near to the approach to the landing strip at Beverley Airfield.
“Information was passed on to us when the incident was first reported to indicate that the passenger and pilot were safe.
“As our search began and progressed, it became clear that, while this information had been provided with good intention, it was not correct.
“We are appealing to anyone who might have any information regarding this to contact us on 101, quoting log 511 of 10-10-18.”
Chief Superintendent Darren Wildbore, head of Humberside police’s special operations unit, added: “I would first like to pass on my sincere condolences to the families of the pilot and passenger involved in this tragic incident.
“A search for the aircraft by all emergency services was undertaken and co-ordinated through a specialist search team including air support from our air search rescue team.
“It was a challenging environment in terms of the large rural location and in the hours of darkness.
“I would like to thank all the volunteers, local residents and farmers who assisted us by initially calling us and helping on the ground. Your help was invaluable.”
An air accidents investigation branch spokesperson said: “On Wednesday night, an accident involving a light aircraft near Wilfholme village was reported to us.
“It was later confirmed that tragically both people on board died in the accident.
“The aircraft was a Reims Cessna F172N, a single-engine, four-seat light aircraft.”
The aircraft has now been transported south to the AAIB’s headquarters at Farnborough in Hampshire for further examination.