Stunned beach-goers scrambled to get out of the way as the Cessna 210 made an emergency landing on the sand near Dripstone Cliffs yesterday afternoon.
The plane, operated by Barrier Air Charter, slid 50m, launching a spray of sand into the air before coming to rest.
The pilot and the five tourists on board walked from the plane without injuries.
The dramatic incident happened about 5pm.
Jill Boyd was looking for shells on the beach with her daughter and grand daughter when the plane flew low over their heads.
“It came in over the sea towards the beach and headed towards Rapid Creek foot bridge did a U-turn and then came in to land.”
“We saw people running to take cover, the plane landed and there was a spray of sand,” Ms Boyd said.
“It was so controlled, nice and quiet, I did not think anyone was hurt.”
The pilot seemed shaken but in fine spirits as she was taken away in a St John Ambulance vehicle.
The plane was coming back from a scenic tour of Kakadu when the single engine failed.
Last night, engineers were attempting to move the plane further up the beach so it would not be affected by the tides.
Barrier Air Charter planned to employ a security guard to watch over the plane during last night.