Plane flips on Wellington Airport runway

21:38, Feb 17 2009
RUNWAY DRAMA: The plane that flipped over at the Wellington airport today

The occupants of a small plane had a lucky escape after their Cessna plane flipped onto its roof at Wellington Airport today.

Inspector Chris Tate, of Wellington police communications, said details were still sketchy, but reports suggested the plane had crashed or caught its wing, and been turned upside down.

Both occupants were able to walk out of the aircraft.

The accident, just before 10.30am, happened at the southern end of the runway.

Mr Tate said as a precaution, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) fire crew had sprayed foam onto the plane, but there had been no suggestion of fire.

Flights in and out of the airport have been stopped while the aircraft is towed off the runway.

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Airport spokeswoman Louise Murray said flights are expected to resume by 1pm and passengers should turn up for their flights as scheduled.

It is believed the plane belonged to Wings Over Whales, a company that runs whale-watching flights from Kaikoura.

Manager Andrew Crawford said he was the very glad no-one was hurt and keen to find out what caused the 4-seater Cessna to flip.

"It was most likely a strong gust of wind that did it - it's not that uncommon a thing to happen."

Ambulance and the Fire Service were in attendance, and the CAA would investigate the incident.

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