Fault forces pilot to land in paddock

By Josephine Edmonds

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A plane crash landed in a paddock in Athenree yesterday. File photo
A plane crash landed in a paddock in Athenree yesterday. File photo

A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a Bay of Plenty paddock after experiencing engine troubles.

The pilot issued a mayday call to Tauranga Airport that the single-engine aircraft with two people on board was in trouble northwest of Tauranga about 10.45am

Tauranga Airport manager Ray Dumble said the pilot reported a rough-running engine. The police, fire service and coastguard were alerted.

He said the plane was heading towards Tauranga to Waihi and attempted to return to the airfield but, given the engine problems, the pilot decided to land in a paddock.

The pilot made the emergency landing at Athenree about 11am. No one was injured.

Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair of the Tauranga police said they were prepared for any eventuality.

"All emergency services will be contacted for any emergencies" he said.

No injuries had been reported.

A spokesperson from the Tauranga Aero Club said the club was not aware of the incident and the Civil Aviation Authority had yesterday not yet received paperwork but expected it would be investigating once it heard more.

Athenree residents were unaware of the drama.

A woman at the Athenree Hot Springs and Holiday Park, who would not be named, said a family member had texted saying they had read in the news that something had happened in the area, but apart from that she had not heard anything.

Other Athenree residents said it was a small village and they were surprised that no one had heard anything about it.

"There's not that many paddocks around here," one said.

A farmer working next to the Waihi Beach airfield also said he did not see or hear anything.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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