Hijacked plane crashes in Auckland

A man has been taken to hospital with serious injuries following a plane crash in Auckland this evening.

The man is believed to have been the only occupant of the aircraft which crashed 50 metres off Kohimarama Beach at about 9:50pm.

A local resident said she was watching the election coverage on TV when she heard "an unusual thud". Minutes later she heard a helicopter circling and then saw it shine its spotlight on to the water.

She said she saw the wing of a plane sticking out of the water about 20 metres from shore near the Kohimarama Yacht Club on Tamaki Drive.  

Police said the light plane had been stolen from Ardmore Airport in South Auckland at about 7pm and had been flown dangerously low over Auckland.

The pilot was in touch with police via an air-traffic controller and had threatened to crash the plane into the Sky Tower which was evacuated. 

After the plane crashed the man climbed out and members of the public helped him to shore.  A police officer accompanied the man to hospital.

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