A pilot has been forced to make a hasty landing after colliding with a cow at a rural airstrip this morning.
Police said emergency services were put on standby at an airfield in Feilding, after a top-dressing plane had hit a cow during take-off from an airstrip in Pahiatua - about 40 minutes away by road.
"It either damaged or lost one of the wheels."
Police central communications acting shift commander Bruce Mackay said when the pilot realised the collision had damaged his plane, he was instructed to land in Feilding.
Police, Ambulance and the Fire Service were all called to the landing, at about 6.30am, Mr Mackay said.
"It touched down without any real issue," Mr Mackay said.
While the pilot was uninjured, it is understood the cow has died, he said.
It was unclear why the cow had been on the runway, and the matter had been passed on to the Civil Aviation Authority, police said.