A German replica fighter plane that crash landed near Levin is a former Tauranga aircraft on its way from Tauranga airport to Paraparaumu.
The Focke Wulfe 190 replica was forced to make a crash landing in a paddock near Levin after suffering engine failure at about 2.30pm on Friday.
A German replica fighter plane en-route from Tauranga Airport to Paraparaumu crash landed near Levin.
Pilot and new owner Murry Milnes suffered a fractured skull and two broken ankles when the plane skidded across a paddock, narrowly missing a water trough before hitting a fence.
He purchased the replica plane for $50,000 from Tauranga pilot Phil Hooker.
SunLive spoke with Phil today and he says he has no idea why the plane may have lost power.
“I’m still waiting to hear back myself, no one’s got any idea at this stage,” says Phil.
“He did a good job putting it down, I would hate to have an engine failure in that thing.”
He agreed it glided like a brick without its engine.
“You need a long bit of land to land it on, so he was extremely lucky. In an accident like that it’s luck, just what’s underneath you at the time.
“You can be the best pilot in the world, but if you have nowhere to land you are going to hurt yourself.”
Phil says the 60 per cent kitset replica easily had the range to fly from Tauranga to Paraparaumu without needing to refuel.
In the five years the New Plymouth built kitset was in Tauranga it spent most of its time on display at Classic Flyers and was also used in flying displays at the Tauranga airshows.
“From an aviation history point of view it’s a rare aircraft. If we lose one of our Cessnas we can replace it the next day, but lose a rare aircraft like that it’s sad for the aviation community.
“I doubt whether they will fix it.”
Phil says the Fokke Wulfe replica is the first aircraft to receive clearance to fly in New Zealand with the Nazi swastika on its tail.
“It was the original part of the aeroplane so it couldn’t be a true replica without the true marking.”
The original Fokke Wulfe 190 was a radial engined multi role fighter that first saw service with the Luftwaffe in France in 1941.