Air Force Boeing 757 lands safely at Whenuapai after mid-air drama

An RNZAF 757 aircraft makes an emergancy landing at RNZAF Base Auckland in Whenuapai. Photo / Dean Purcell
An RNZAF 757 aircraft makes an emergancy landing at RNZAF Base Auckland in Whenuapai. Photo / Dean Purcell

The New Zealand Air Force Boeing at the centre of this morning's mid-air drama has landed safely.

The flight had been preparing to make an emergency landing at Whenuapai Air Force base.

Emergency services had raced to the base where the RNZAF 757 was expected to make an emergency landing.

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Fire Services northern shift manager Jaron Phillips said the plane, with 31 people on board, had a suspected punctured tyre.

Air Force crews were now checking the craft for overheating with thermal imaging cameras.

An RNZAF spokesman said a Boeing "experienced vibrations on take off" from Whenuapai Airforce Base this morning.

"The crew are currently conducting standard checks to identify obvious problems and intend landing at Whenuapai shortly as per procedure."

New Zealand Defence Force spokeswoman Anna Norman said the plane had landed safely.

"The aircraft has landed safely. An investigation into the incident will be held and no further comment will be made until that is complete."

Helen Lawrence, who lives close to the base, wrote on Facebook that she watched the plane circle above. She later posted an update.

"It seems to have landed fine thank goodness!"

Four fire crews, police and ambulance were at the base on standby.

The plane had been circling Auckland's West Coast soon after take off. The plane had made several passes of the runway before landing.

Base Operations at Whenuapai said it was too busy to discuss today's emergency and referred calls to NZDF media.

- NZ Herald

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