An Air New Zealand customer was left terrified after the plane she was on hit a bird during take-off this morning, forcing the pilot to haul on the brakes.
Auckland-bound flight NZ402 had 148 passengers on board when the incident happened on a runway at Wellington Airport about 6.30am.
The plane is understood to have braked sharply as it attempted to take off after striking the bird.
Although at least one passenger was frightened during the incident, another praised the pilot for keeping calm.
Louise Aitken, chief executive of Ākina Foundation, tweeted that the plane hit the bird at speed and the pilot's response had been "amazing" - slamming on the brakes and then coming out of the cockpit to explain what had happened.
An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the plane returned to the gate where it was inspected by engineers before departing 40 minutes later.
"Bird strikes are not uncommon. Aircraft are designed with this in mind and our pilots train for this scenario."
On Saturday, Kiwi basketballer Steven Adams was on a domestic US flight when a bird struck the plane.
He tweeted a photo of the damage to the Delta Airlines plane - a large dent to the nose.
He hoped Nasa, Bill Nye, or Neil deGrasse Tyson had the answer to the damage, saying: "We had a rough flight to say the least. 30,000 feet in the air. Flying to chicago. What caused this? (sic)"
Delta Airlines spokeswoman Victoria Wolf confirmed it was likely the plane had struck a bird but landed safely without incident.
Aviation commentator Peter Clark said after viewing the photo Adams had tweeted that it was unlikely the passengers on the flight had felt much of the impact, unless it was a particularly large bird like a Canadian goose.
He told the Herald although it wasn't common for birds to strike planes, it happened occasionally.