'Horrifying': Witnesses describe moment Auckland seaplane crashes

Witnesses have described the "horrifying" moment a seaplane crashed into the Auckland Harbour.

On Friday morning, police metro Auckland shift commander Kai Shao said emergency services were called to the scene after reports of a "light aircraft crashing".

Rosalyn Okasene, who was on the ferry at the time, told Newshub she saw the plane crash as it was landing.

"We just saw the seaplane going to land and then when it touched the water it did a flip and went straight into the water nose first," she said.

Others took to social media to describe the dramatic event, including one woman who described the crash as "horrifying".

"Seaplane crashed in Auckland Harbour - Horrifying watching it crash!" she said.

"All you can see from the shore is the white underside and four sets of wheels floating above the surface," said another user.

The plane, a de Havilland Beaver float plane, belonged to Auckland Seaplanes, which released a statement confirming the plane "flipped near our base in the Waitematā
Harbour".

"The pilot, the only person on board, was extracted safely and the aircraft is now in the process of being recovered," the company said.

Mr Shao said officers were assisted by an ambulance, Fire and Emergency, a helicopter, and a police boat, which rescued the pilot.

He also confirmed the pilot was being assessed by the ambulance.

'Horrifying': Witnesses describe moment Auckland seaplane crashes
Photo credit: Supplied
'Horrifying': Witnesses describe moment Auckland seaplane crashes
Photo credit: Cara Gilkison

Before police arrived, a witness told Newshub that boats, including some from the Navy, had arrived at the scene quickly after the incident.

Mr Shao and Auckland Seaplanes thanked the public for stepping up until authorities arrived.

Auckland Seaplanes said it was working with the Civil Aviation Authority to find out how the crash occurred and no flying operations would take place while the investigation was underway.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz