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Air NZ gear up landing

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The Age.


Melb 18.6.07


A "freaked out" passenger has praised the efforts of a pilot who carried out a safe crash landing at a New Zealand airport this morning.


The Air New Zealand Beech aircraft, with 15 passengers and two crew aboard, had tried to land at Wellington when the crew found a problem with its landing gear.


It was then diverted to Woodbourne where the crew completed a safe belly flop landing just after 9am.


The badly damaged plane was sprayed with foam as a precaution.


Marty Solomon, a Wellington man who was on the flight with his partner and son, was full of praise for the crew.


"I was a bit freaked out, but as soon as we came to a halt I was alright.


"The pilot did a damned good job at landing the plane."


"I jumped out through the window, the hole wanted to be a bit bigger though."


Solomon said the crew had kept the passengers informed and got them to prepare for the crash landing.


One passenger, who was understood to be pregnant, was taken to hospital for a check-up.


Blenheim's Woodbourne airport in the South Island was expected to be closed for two hours while cranes were brought in to remove the wreckage.


The aircraft was on a flight from Timaru to Wellington and was operated by Air New Zealand subsidiary Eagle Air.


The Press



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