Pilot Skills Saves Passengers and Aircraft Say Residents

Written by on November 12, 2022

Story by John Freer

Residents of Onemana woke this morning surprised to find a light aircraft parked on a fire break alongside Tuna Place.

At the same time they were heaping praise on the pilot who undertook an emergency landing in the single-engine Cessna on Thursday morning, saving the lives of himself and his two passengers.

Residents say the aircraft lost power while flying from Tauranga to Great Barrier Island, initially the pilot selected a forced landing on Onemana Beach.

Due to residents undertaking a dune planting exercise on the beach foreshore, the pilot had to rethink his landing spot and chose a steep and very rough fire break on the northern side of the village.


Plane after landing on Firebreak at Onemana

He avoided a deep creek bed and then landed into an uphill slope, bringing the aircraft to a halt 20 metres from village baches.

Removing the aircraft will now become a challenge, residents saying the most likely option was to airlift it out.

CFM has approached the aircraft operators Sun Air for a comment.


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