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Light aircraft in beach drama

IAN STEWARD AND DELWYN DICKEY
Last updated 05:00 14/01/2014
Stingrays

BEACH DRAMA: Pilot Dennis Horne, left, and engineer Manfred Scherbius had a lucky escape on Martins Bay beach.

Plane fails to take off

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A light plane made a successful emergency landing at Martins Bay beach on the Mahurangi Peninsula on Friday but crashed when it tried to take off again.

No-one was hurt when the six-cylinder, 120-horsepower Jabiru landed about 11.30am.

Pilot Dennis Horne of Howick was flying from Ardmore to Whangarei when the plane's new engine cut out about five kilometres off Martins Bay.

He landed on the beach's empty south end.

Luckily, about 500 children on the beach were clustered together at a sandcastle competition at the northern end, Martins Bay Holiday Park manager Linda Brickland says.

Mr Horne says he and passenger Manfred Scherbius transferred fuel from one wing to the other, but when they tried to take off again they made contact with the water, causing the plane to "nosedive" into the sand, breaking its propeller.

The men were not hurt and had to remove the wings so a truck could take the aircraft away.

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