A fortunate pilot of a privately owned single seater aircraft walked away unharmed after his engine failed above Motueka this morning.
Bernard Kudrass was approaching Motueka Aerodrome about 10.30am to land when his engine failed. He spotted a nearby paddock surrounded by houses and managed to turn the aircraft 180 degrees to aim for it, said Sergeant Grant Heney of Motueka.
Kudrass brought the plane down over a shelter break of trees, clipping the tops and snapping a few branches, which were scattered in the paddock.
The plane bounced twice and came to rest with its nose down in the paddock.
The paddock is bordered by houses which are across the street from Motueka High School.
Neighbour Joelle Dadson saw the plane bouncing in the paddock out of the corner of her eye from a back bedroom of her Grey St house and said had the plane not been bright yellow, she doubted she would have seen it.
''Am I really seeing what I'm seeing?'' she wondered.
The forced landing will be referred to the Civil Aviation Authority for follow-up.
- © Fairfax NZ News