Five Italians and a Kosovo Albanian perished after their plane crashed, just south of the Macedonian capital Skopje.
The victims are: pilot Francesco Montagner, president of amateur sports Flying club Treviso. With him was also the vice president of the Aeroclub, Dario Bastasin, Luca Dalle Mulle, Angelo Callegari, Ilaria Berti and Visar Degaj, a Kosovo Albanian with Italian citizenship.
The victims lived in the provinces of Treviso, Padua and Udine.
The pilot had asked to land at Skopje’s airport to refuel but did not report any emergency.
The plane lost contact with the control centre and crashed just six miles away from the airport, near the village of Kojle. The aircraft was found shortly after nightfall, several hours after it lost contact with the Skopje Alexander the Great airport. The plane was still on fire when it was found.
According to local sources, the Kosovan killed in the crash, Visar Degaj, was businessmen.
Degaj intended to open aero clubs in Kosovo, which would teach students how to fly, according to local media.
He was going to follow their business template they had already successfully established in Treviso.
Authorities said they did not have any other details of the Italian passengers.
Mitko Chavkov, head of the Macedonian public security bureau, said: “They departed from the airport Treviso in Italy with destination in Pristina.”
Macedonian officials have launched an investigation into the disaster.
The aircraft is described as a light aircraft made by US based firm.