A lone pilot had a lucky escape when he walked away from a light plane crash at Kinloch, near Taupo, today.
It is believed the pilot got into difficulties just after noon and was forced to make an emergency landing in a rural area north of Lake Taupo.
A rescue operation involving fire, police and a helicopter was immediately launched and fire service appliances searched landing strips in the area and located the plane.
"We have been in touch with the pilot by mobile phone and he seems to be OL," a fire service spokeswoman said.
"He had put out a mayday saying he was having to make a forced landing and then he called for help when he got out of the aircraft and made it to a clearing.
"It is unusual for someone to walk away from any kind of plane crash."
It is believed the pilot tried to land at an airstrip at Puketapu Road but was unable to do so and ended up coming down in bush south of the airstrip.
The plane has been located in rural Marotiri.