A Kiwi adventure pilot who decided to strap mountain bikes under the wings of his plane is surprised to find himself suddenly world famous.

Mit Brereton, 27, hired a Manawatu engineering company to install bike racks under both wings of his 53-year-old Cessna six-seater when he bought a little Takaka-based company, Adventure Flights Golden Bay, three years ago.

A photo of the plane carrying bikes, posted on the company's Facebook page two years ago, has suddenly gone viral.

Mr Brereton, who worked as a mineral exploration pilot before buying the company, believes his plane is the only one in the world that carries bikes on the outside. He flies cyclists in to the Heaphy Track during the track's mountain biking season from May to September.

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"I came up with the idea," he said.

"The bikes are a bit big and bulky and they are difficult to carry. It's only a six-seater and by the time you get five or six people in the plane there's not a lot of room for the bikes."

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said the bike racks had approval.