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Strong winds make for hairy landings in Wellington

Thursday 10 Jan 2013 5:50 p.m.

It was a difficult day for passengers on flights in and out of Wellington, with Air New Zealand cancelling some regional services due to strong winds.

Gusty conditions meant hairy landings for some, while last night trans-Tasman flights were diverted to Auckland.

“It was just like the whole plane was just going from side to side,” says one passenger arriving from Blenheim.

“[It was] terrible, it was really rough,” says another.

And the gales meant one Qantas plane hopped down the runway after aborting the first landing.

“I know planes don't just fall out of the sky, it was like no flight I've ever been on before, I’m thinking I might take the train back to Auckland,” says Jetstar passenger James Sword.

Air New Zealand cancelled nine regional flights and the gales kept fire crews busy too, as they attempted to save roofs and traffic signs from flying away.

Passengers queued for buses to hotels and had to fly to Wellington this morning.

Meanwhile NZTA warned motorbikes and high sided vehicles not to use the Rimutaka Hill road as winds gusted to 130km/h.

The strong winds are forecast to ease this evening.

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