Plane fails crashes into sand on beach filled with children

IAN STEWARD AND DELWYN DICKEY
Last updated 15:25 10/01/2014

Pilot makes emergency landing on beach then crashes as he tries to take off again. Paul Chapman reports.

Plane fails to take off

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A light plane that made a successful emergency landing on an Auckland beach crashed when it tried to take off again.

No-one was hurt when the six-cylinder, 120-horsepower Jabiru landed on Martins Bay beach, on the Mahurangi Peninsula near Warkworth about 11.30am today.

Pilot Dennis Horne, of Howick, Auckland, said he was flying from Ardmore to Whangarei when the plane's new engine cut out about 5 kilometres off Martins Bay.

He managed to land on the empty south end of the beach.

Martins Bay Holiday Park manager Linda Brickland said luckily the 500 to 600 children on the beach were clustered together at a sandcastle competition.

Horne said he and his passenger transferred fuel from one wing to the other, but when they tried to take off again they contacted the water, causing the plane to "nosedive" into the sand, breaking its propeller and damaging its wing.

The plane is now awaiting a truck that will tow it off the beach.

Brickland said the children "thoroughly enjoyed it".

"They thought it was great fun," she said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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