Two men are badly injured, one of them critically, and in Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital after their light plane crashed in a paddock.
A Central Hawkes' Bay Aero Club member, who asked not to be named, said the crash happened as the plane came in to land at a top-dressing strip about near Otane, south of Hastings, about 6am.
Two men were on board - the pilot and a loader-driver, both aged in their 60s.
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The Lowe Corporation rescue helicopter, which attended the crash alongside police, fire crews and paramedics, flew the men to Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital.
A spokeswoman said the men had sustained multiple fractured limbs.
A neighbour, who also asked not to be named, heard the plane crash and was one of the first on the scene after calling emergency services.
"It sounded quite normal until I heard this thump, and I thought, that's not right."
The man said it appeared the plane has clipped a fence post on the way in to land.
A hospital spokeswoman said one man was in critical condition in intensive care and the other is in a serious condition in intensive care.
A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said the crash would stay in their hands and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission would not need to investigate.
Aerospread managing director Bruce Peterson, who employs the two men, said the company was working with the Civil Aviation Authority on an investigation into the crash.
"Our primary concern is with our injured staff who are listed in critical and serious conditions in intensive care.
"Both of the injured, our pilot and top-dressing loader/driver, are very experienced."
He said the families of the men had asked for privacy, and together they would like to thank the emergency services crews and hospital staff who have cared for the men.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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