A fisherman was knocked unconscious this afternoon by a light plane that had run out of fuel and was making an emergency landing on Matata Beach in Whakatane.

The Matata Volunteer Fire Brigade was called at 2.34pm to reports an unconscious person was lying on the beach.

The man was brought to the fire station suffering moderate head injuries. He was taken to Whakatane Hospital by ambulance.

"He had been fishing on Matata Beach when a light aircraft, out of fuel swooped low, gliding, over the DOC Camp to make an emergency landing on the beach, cleaning up the VERY unlucky fisherman and striking him in the head," the fire brigade said in a Facebook post.

Advertisement

"There has got to be something crazy unluckly going on for that man to be hit by a plane on the beach."

Police confirmed a glider had crashlanded on the beach at 2.30pm today and its wing had hit a fisherman.

The man had minor injuries while the pilot and copilot were not injured, a spokeswoman said.

The glider was being towed and the crash had been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority.