Seven people aboard a light plane that made an emergency landing in Darwin Harbour waded through shallow water to get to land.

The plane was carrying six computer technicians, none of whom was injured, to the remote Arnhem Land community of Maningrida.

The pilot experienced engine troubles and was forced to land in the harbour shortly after 8:30 a.m. (CST) today.

The plane came to rest on a sand bank, about 650 feet off East Point Reserve on the outskirts of the city.

"Apparently the pilot experienced some engine troubles on take-off and realized that he would not be able to make it back to the airport so he has made a decision to land it on the beach," Superintendent Rob Farmer said.

A witness to the crash, Mel Collins, said she was shocked to see the plane go down.

"The plane came from the left and the back of the flat - really close to the water - it was really close and I thought what's going on with it...," she told the ABC.

"Then it touched down in the water."

A police spokeswoman said all seven on board the flight then walked through the shallow waters at low tide to a picnic site at the reserve.

"All the people on board walked from the plane and all of them are fine," she said.

Police, firefighters and ambulance crews were at the scene and Supt Farmer said they were working to remove the partly submerged plane from the water before the tide rose.

"We will obviously try and move the plane if we can," he said.

"There is an hour until the turn of the tide."

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