New Zealand Air Force Vintage plane crash lands near Ōhakea Air Force base

Two people have escaped uninjured after a vintage Air Force plane landed on its belly in a paddock outside RNZAF Base Ōhakea.

The Defence Force confirmed that the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Harvard had been forced to perform a “forced landing” in a farm paddock short of the runway, after suffering engine issues.

“The two RNZAF personnel on-board evacuated the aircraft with no injuries. Air Force Rescue Fire responders and local emergency services responded to the scene.

Fire and Emergency said the plane belly-landed around 10.20am near Ōhakea air base, north of Palmerston North.

The Defence Force said in a statement the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) historic Harvard aircraft had engine issues.

“The North American Harvard 1015 is a historic World War II aircraft maintained and flown by RNZAF for ceremonial and display purposes.”

It was given a makeover in 2017 and was restored and repainted to its original 1942 state, now displaying the same wartime camouflage it would have had when it was rolled out of the factory.

The RNZAF’s Harvard NZ1015 has been described as the Air Force’s “grand old lady”.

Air Force Rescue Fire responders and local emergency services are at the scene.

The Defence Force said it will investigate the crash with the Civil Aviation Authority.

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