A Virgin Australia flight from Sydney to Auckland was forced to make two landing attempts after a violent gust of wind forced the pilot to make a fly-around.

Mike, a former pilot with decades of flying experience, was a passenger in the plane on Thursday night and said the flight became turbulent after the plane reached Auckland's skies.

As the plane went to land at Auckland Airport, flying only 10m above the ground, it was knocked by a powerful gust of wind, he told Newstalk ZB.

"Just after we crossed the threshold to the runway, the squall kicked in.

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"It woke me up," he said.

After the pilot pulled up to make another landing attempt he assured the passengers he had enough gas for another try.

It took 20 minutes to do a full circuit before the second and successful attempt.

It was the first time he had been in a commercial plane that had do to a fly-around.