A man and woman walked away with minor injuries after engine troubles meant the pair had to make a crash landing. PHOTO/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM
The plane crashed through a fence of Keith Davidson's family farm. PHOTO/MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM
Keith Davidson says a few cars have crashed through the fence of his family farm.
But Friday was the first time a plane had done it.
A man and woman walked away with minor injuries after crash landing in Mr Davidson's Pouto Rd paddock when their two-seater Zenair plane developed engine trouble not far from Dargaville.
Mr Davidson, who has lived on the farm his entire life, was moving the digger up one of the farm's driveways when he came around a corner and saw a man and woman climbing out of the plane which had crashed through a fence about 10am yesterday.
"I didn't hear anything over the noise of the digger. They were heading straight towards that pine tree. When you see where they landed they must have hit pretty hard.
"I thought 'oh no' [but] I could see they were getting out fortunately," he said.
Dargaville Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Jeffrey Palmer said a perfect landing meant the pair escaped relatively unscathed.
He said if the pilot had gone a couple of hundred metres further he would've landed in a flat paddock but he just happened to hit a hilly paddock, then a fence post.
Mr Davidson said he stopped the digger at the top of the hill and walked down to check the couple were okay.
He said the man had a "pretty sore back" and the woman had a cut on her head. They were both taken to Dargaville Hospital by ambulance.
Mr Davidson understood the pair, who were from Parakai, 43km northwest of Auckland, realised there was engine trouble and had turned to head to the Dargaville Aerodrome when they crash landed.
He said the man had called emergency services but handed the phone to Mr Davidson to describe where the farm was.
Police, ambulance and four fire trucks arrived at the scene "pretty quickly", he said.
"We're quite used to having cars come through the road fence but a plane coming through the fence is a different story," he said.
Mr Davidson said fire trucks remained at the scene for about an hour as fuel was leaking.
The Civil Aviation Authority has been notified but were awaiting more information before making a decision about whether to investigate or not.