Three people were injured when a light plane flipped after an aborted take-off in Southland this afternoon.

Emergency services were called to a paddock at Thornbury at 3.30pm.

The Cessna 182, owned by a local farm syndicate, was being piloted by a 59-year-old local man.

He was carrying three passengers aged between 50 and 64. The group were was heading to Big Bay to hunt and carry out repairs on a hut.

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It appeared the plane was taking off and when it was hit by a cross-wind, the pilot aborted the take-off and completed a controlled landing in a nearby paddock, police said.

The plane skidded before it hit a wire fence and post, then rolled into a recently ploughed paddock where the nose wheel dug into the soft ground and the plane flipped onto its roof.

The pilot and passengers got out of the plane and were tended by ambulance staff.

The three passengers suffered minor injuries and were taken to Southland Hospital.

The Civil Aviation Authority had been notified.