Crash pilot was well-known driving instructor

The scene just off the runway of Newtownards airstrip on Tuesday after a plane crash claimed a man's life
The scene just off the runway of Newtownards airstrip on Tuesday after a plane crash claimed a man's life

The pilot who died when his light aircraft crashed at Newtownards airfield on Tuesday morning was Stephen McKnight from the Hillsborough area of Co Down.

Mr McKnight’s plane came down shortly after it took off before 11.30am.

Air accident investigators are examining the wreckage of the two-seater microlight plane to establish the cause of the tragedy.

Mr McKnight, who was in his 50s, was well-known as a driving instructor around the wider Lisburn area.

Meanwhile, the man whose body was recovered from a Co Tyrone river on Tuesday evening has been identified as Noel McStay from the Lurgan area.

Mr McStay, who was in his 60s, is thought to have died while fishing in the River Mourne near Strabane Golf Club. His body is understood to have been discovered by another angler shortly after 6pm.

He worked on the family farm, between Lurgan and Aghagallon, producing potato products for the catering industry.

Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly said Mr McStay’s family was still recovering from the loss of Mr McStay’s father last year.

“They are a decent, well-regarded family in the local community and everybody is very shocked and saddened at his sudden death,” she said.

The Easter weekend was also one of tragedy on the roads, with a number of fatalities and several more people seriously injured.

On Sunday, police revealed that an 11-year-old boy had died four days after being involved in a collision at the Lough Shore Road in Enniskillen.

On Easter Monday, Johnny Black, 19, and Robin Wilson, 26, died as a result of a collision on Ballycastle’s Cushendall Road in the early hours of the morning.

An 18-year-old woman who was seriously injured in the collision was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for treatment.

On Wednesday night the Belfast Health Trust said there was no change in Clogagh Arbuckle’s condition.

“She still remains critical,” a spokeswoman said.

Four other people involved in the collision were taken to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

The crash happened just hours after 42-year-old motorcyclist David Anderson from Coleraine was killed in a collision near Lisburn.