Wednesday, November 19, 2014 6:29 pm
A man who drove his wingless, propeller-driven plane down the main street of a West Australian town to the local pub, has been fined.
Anthony Whiteway said on Wednesday that he was feeling a little parched as he drove his newly purchased two-seater aircraft home and decided to stop off for a drink at the Purple Pub in the small mining town of Newman in the northwest of the country.
Police responding to reports of a plane in the pub car park, found Whiteway’s wingless aircraft with the ignition still on.
The police also saw the plane with an exposed fuel line hung from the side of the plane leading to a jerry-can in the cabin.
He told the police that he stopped for a glass of lemonade and a toilet break.
“I went to the toilet and when I came out all hell had broken loose,’’ he said.
Whiteway, 37, pleaded guilty to committing an act likely to endanger the life, health and safety of a person.
However, he was fined 4,250 dollars plus court and towage costs.
According to police, they were angry that Whiteway, who does not hold a pilot’s license, had so recklessly put so many lives in danger.
Sergeant Mark Garner, of Newman police, said the plane not having a steering wheel made the situation extremely unsafe.
“All he needed was one gust of wind because without the wings, it is not stable.
“The danger obviously taxiing a prop plane down Newman Drive, bearing in mind that kids have just come out of school,’’ Garner said.
Meanwhile, outside the court, Whiteway said that he was still keen to restore the plane but would choose alternate transport to get to the pub in future.
“I do not think I will be taking it to the pub again, no,’’ he said.