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A microlight pilot drew the attention of Dunedin police after being spotted flying low over the suburb of Fairfield with smoke pouring from the aircraft.
Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said a member of the public alerted police on Saturday morning after spotting what appeared to be a microlight in difficulty.
It later emerged the pilot was practising for an upcoming event, and would be using smoke as part of the display, he said.
''He was advised maybe he could have picked a better location [to practise],'' Snr Sgt Benn said.