Police are investigating the death of two men in a microlight aircraft crash near Maitland on Saturday.
Emergency services were called to a property in Woodville, north of Maitland, just after midday on Saturday following reports of an aircraft spiraling to the ground
Upon arrival, emergency services personnel found an aircraft wreckage and the bodies of a 44-year-old man and a 71-year-old man.
Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District established a crime scene, which was examined by specialist forensic police.
Police have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash.
An eyewitness to the incident, who called emergency services, told Nine News he saw the microlight aircraft flying sideways before it crashed to the ground.
"I heard this little ultraplane come overhead here. The wing got up, and just as I looked up... he's flying sideways," the man, Doug, told Nine News.
"[I said] 'this bloke's in trouble'. Just as I said that, the wings... folded up and he just spiralled to the ground.
"Everything was hunky-dory there until the wing came up. It's just so simple how these things can happen."
The Sports Aviation Federation of Australia, the sporting body that administrates microlights, hang gliding, paragliding in Australia, including training and certifying pilots, is assisting with the investigation.
SAFA's safety management officer, Iain Clarke, told the Newcastle Herald an expert from the Federation was currently assisting police with their investigations near Maitland.
"We provide police with expert knowledge on the type of aircraft, to go and look at the aircraft and see if there is anything out of the ordinary," Mr Clarke said.
He described the type of aircraft involved, a weight-shifting microlight, as "quite safe".
"It's basically a hang glider wing with a fuselage attached below it and that fuselage contains the seating for a pilot and a passenger and wheels," Mr Clarke said.
He confirmed the pilot of the aircraft was a member of SAFA, which has about 3000 members across the country.
"Our thoughts are with the families involved," Mr Clarke said.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact Maitland Police Station on (02) 4934 0311 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.
More to come.
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