A 21-year-old trainee pilot had a lucky escape in Australia, after safely landing a small plane that lost a wheel mid-air.

Local media reported that the aircraft had taken off from Mangalore airport, north of Melbourne, early today when the drama unfolded.

Airport officials said the Chinese pilot, who was the only person on-board, circled the airport for almost four hours to burn up fuel.

The aircraft landed safely before skidding and spinning on dirt and grass off the runway.

The pilot was assessed by paramedics but did not require treatment, according to local media.

He is reportedly a trainee with China Southern Airlines and has 120 hours flying experience.