Emergency landing in Blenheim
A passenger plane arriving from Wellington has made an emergency landing in Blenheim at about 12.50pm today.
Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford said a heat shield stopping the engine from overheating had come loose during the flight.
''The engine was fine, it just gave everyone a fright, as you can imagine,'' he said.
''The plane landed as normal and the pilot did well.''
Picton man Travis Harvey was on board the plane and said there was a ''massive jolt'' before the door started shaking about ten minutes into the flight.
''I'm not a panicky kinda person so I was fine...it woke the guy up in front of me anyway.''
Harvey said the pilot was brilliant, which kept everybody calm.
He was sitting at the very back of the plane and the other five passengers passed the message on that the plane was going to land in Blenheim, rather than Koromiko as planned.
''The landing was fine and the pilot was brilliant,'' he said.
The aircraft landed heavily on the runway and lost a small side panel, Marlborough Airport manager Dean Heiford said.
It came to a stop safely and no one was injured, he said.
New Zealand Defence Force rescue fire service, police and airport staff were called to the Blenheim runway for the plane's landing.
An investigation would be carried out by the Transport Accident Investigation Committee, Heiford said.
Crawford said it was only a minor problem which would be looked at by their aircraft engineers and repaired this afternoon.
- The Marlborough Express