A replica spitfire crash landed at Whanganui Airport this evening after only one of its wheels deployed when the pilot came in to land.
The pilot safely landed the one-seater plane on its belly and was uninjured.
The fire service was called to the airport just before 6pm.
Whanganui Fire station officer Jes Sorensen said seven appliances attended as the incident was a full airport emergency until the plane was safely on the ground.
"We were told there was a spitfire circling the airport. Only one wheel had come down so the pilot decided he wanted to try and land on the grass.
"We had everything set up in case of an emergency with extra fire engines, a rescue unit and a command unit."
After circling the airport for 30 minutes to allow other planes to land, the pilot retracted the wheel and did a belly landing on the grass.
The plane skidded for about 160 metres before coming to a stop.
Sorensen said the male pilot was shaken, but otherwise uninjured.
"Our job was very easy. He did a perfect landing, bent his [propeller] and probably did some damage to the under side, but there was no fuel spill or danger from a fire. He was only shaken up and wasn't taken to hospital."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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