Landing plane sparks Wellington alert

Last updated 16:37 29/11/2010

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Emergency services were called to Wellington airport this afternoon after smoke was smelt in the cockpit of a plane which had just taken off.

The pilot on Air New Zealand flight NZ5043 from Wellington to Dunedin reported a smell of smoke in the cockpit shortly after taking off.

The 66-seat ATR twin-propeller plane, carrying 59 passengers, returned to Wellington airport, which was put on alert.

Nine fire engines were called to the airport during the incident and ambulance staff assessed three passengers.

Air New Zealand spokeswoman Tracy Mills said the aircraft is operated by Mount Cook Airline, which is wholly owned by Air New Zealand.

Engineers will check the aircraft and passengers will be transferred onto the next available service.

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- The Dominion Post

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