Cameras Roll As Beach Takeoff Goes Awry

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A New Zealand pilot and his passenger are nursing bruised egos after two strokes of bad luck became after-the-weather fodder for news programs all over the world. Peter Horn and his passenger were on a sightseeing flight in Horn's Jabiru light single over Martin's Bay, just north of Auckland, on Friday, when the engine quit. Horn managed to get the little plane safely onto the beach and promptly found a fuel system blockage. With the repairs made in front of dozens of beachgoers, he fired up the Jabiru and, well, almost had the perfect ending to a lousy day.

As the aircraft accelerates, it starts to slip down the beach's slope toward the surf line. Just as the nose is coming up, the left wheel digs into the water and soft sand and the little plane all but disappears in a shower of seawater. Horn's passenger, who wasn't identified in news reports, said they were trying to keep away from trees and other obstructions on the beach. The aircraft clearly suffered substantial damage but the two occupants were unhurt.

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