THREE Britons are among the dead after a small plane crashed in Dubai after suffering a "technical malfunction"..

The four-seat aircraft came down three miles to the south of Dubai International Airport.

A South African national was also on board.

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The group were said to have been "on a mission to calibrate terrestrial navigation systems at the airport".

The UK-registered aircraft is owned by Flight Calibration Services Ltd based in Chessington, Kent. 

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An investigation has been launched by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), although initial reports indicate the crashed was caused by a technical fault.

The GCAA tweeted: "The small plane, a Diamond 43 owned by Honeywell, had four passengers on board, when it crashed due to a technical malfunction."

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

Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest by international passenger traffic, was closed between 7.36pm and 8.22pm local time before reopening.