The plane flew as low as 3m above the busy road before pulling out. The pilot, a student at Hamilton’s CTC Aviation Training school, landed safely at the nearby Tauranga Airport shortly after reports

The chief executive of CTC Aviation Training, Ian Calvert, confirmed the pilot, who was an international student from the UK, made an approach to land on SH2, but pulled out when he realised it was not a runway.

‘‘We understand while it was low, it was not ridiculously low by any means,” he said.‘‘He realised reasonably early it was the road and not the runway, so how people react on the ground can be quite different to the reality of the situation.’’

Calvert said the pilot was in talks with staff at the flight school to investigate what went wrong and ‘‘why it looked like a runway’’.

‘‘We’ll do an investigation on it before we come to any conclusions as to why it happened or how we can avoid it in the future.’’

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