Plane in trouble over Hamilton Airport video

Lucas Cronin

The two-seater aircraft circled Hamilton Airport for several minutes before crash-landing on Thursday about 12.30pm once all emergency personnel were in position.

A light aircraft has crash-landed and tipped at Hamilton Airport after somehow losing one of its wheels mid-flight.

Police said the two occupants are uninjured.

Details remain sketchy, but airport chief executive Mark Morgan confirmed the facility went into full emergency mode and emergency services were scrambled shortly before midday.

A plane circles Hamilton airport with only one wheel before  landing safely.
NANCY EL-GAMEL/FAIRFAX NZ

A plane circles Hamilton airport with only one wheel before landing safely.

A reporter at the scene watched the pilot of the small plane attempt to land at least once before abandoning the attempt at the last minute and circling the area.

When it finally came into land, it appeared to tip and one wing went upwards.

Emergency services immediately covered the plane in white foam.

The incident is known as a wing strike when one of the aircraft wings hits the ground when the plane is off balance.

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The incident was called into emergency services at 11.53am and the crash-landing happened at 12.31pm.
 
Waikato Police District Command Centre Sergeant Juliet Burgess said two people were on board the plane, which was understood to have departed from the airport earlier in the day.

It was understood the plane's left wheel was missing, she said.

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Police blocked off roads around the airport for just over an hour to ensure public safety, she said. 

The airport said it was back to business as usual, including roads open, about 1pm. 

Following the plane's safe landing, Morgan said the Civil Aviation Authority was notified and would be taking over the investigation.

How the wheel fell off remains a mystery, but he hopes to know more following a debrief on Friday morning.

"It was a very measured response. We had the plane pass over the aerodrome a few times, but that was mainly so our staff and emergency services staff could view it from below, and also to check the wind conditions and determine which of our runways would be the best for it to land on.

"We also wanted to wait until the emergency services had everything in place."

What had been a potential disaster had ended in the best possible way, he said.

"This was a very well-planned-for occurrence."

Hamilton aviation companies Super Air and CTC Aviation confirmed the plane was not one of their aircrafts, and it was also not associated with the Waikato Aero Club. 

 - Stuff

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