Australian man fined for driving plane down main street

A man who drove his wingless, propeller-driven plane down the main street of a West Australian town to the local pub some days back has been fined.

Melbourne: A man who drove his wingless, propeller-driven plane down the main street of a West Australian town to the local pub some days back has been fined.

Anthony Whiteway said 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 and an exposed fuel line hung from the side of the plane leading to a jerry can in the cabin.

Whiteway said 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," Xinhua quoted Whiteway as saying.

"A friend at the bar said a very angry police officer had come in and said, `Righto you mob, who owns the plane parked out the front?`."

Whiteway, 37, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to committing an act likely to endangering the life, health and safety of a person. He was fined USD 4,250 plus court and towage costs.

Police said they were angry that Whiteway, who did not hold a pilot`s licence, had so recklessly put so many lives in danger.

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`s not stable," he said.

"The danger obviously taxiing a prop plane down Newman Drive, bearing in mind that kids have just come out of school.

"It`s a busy Friday afternoon. I know it`s Newman, but we do get a fair bit of traffic."

Outside court, Whiteway said he was still keen to restore the plane but would choose alternate transport to get to the pub in future.

"I don`t think I`ll be taking it to the pub again, no," he said. 

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