The pilot of a privately owned single-seater aircraft walked away unharmed after his engine failed above Motueka this morning.
Bernard Kudrass was approaching Motueka Aerodrome to land about 10.30am when his engine failed. He spotted a nearby paddock surrounded by houses and managed to turn the aircraft 180 degrees to aim for it, Sergeant Grant Heney of Motueka said.
Kudrass brought the plane down over a shelter break of trees, clipping the tops and snapping a few branches, which were scattered in the paddock.
The plane bounced twice and came to rest with its nose down in the paddock.
The paddock is bordered by houses which are across the street from Motueka High School.
Neighbour Joelle Dadson saw the plane bouncing in the paddock out of the corner of her eye. She was in the back bedroom of her Grey St house and doubted she would have seen the plane had it not been bright yellow.
The forced landing would be referred to the Civil Aviation Authority for follow-up.