Two men are in hospital intensive care after a light plane crashed in central Hawke's Bay this morning.
A Central Hawkes' Bay Aero Club member, who asked not to be named, said the crash happened as the plane came in to land at a top-dressing strip about 2 kilometres north of Otane about 6am.
Two men were on board - the pilot and a loader-driver, both aged in their 60s. The Lowe Corporation rescue helicopter, which attended the crash together with police, fire crews and paramedics, flew the men to Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman said one of the men was in critical condition and the other in a serious condition. A rescue helicopter spokesman said both had sustained multiple fractures.
A neighbour, who also asked not to be named, heard the plane crash and was one of the first on the scene after calling emergency services.
"It sounded quite normal until I heard this thump, and I thought, that's not right," he said.
The man said it appeared the plane has clipped a fence post on the way in to land and the two men were relatively lucky.
"It was nice to see they were both conscious and that it wasn't a funeral pyre," the neighbour said.
A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said the crash would stay in their hands and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission and it would not need to investigate.
- The Dominion Post