An apparently thirsty man who taxied his light plane down a main street in Western Australia's Pilbara region and parked it outside a pub is expected to be charged. Residents of the remote Pilbara town of Newman were surprised at seeing a plane parked outside the local pub, the Newman Hotel, after its owner apparently taxied it down the main street so he could get a drink.
Officers were called to the Newman Hotel, also called the Purple Pub, about 2:00pm on Friday.
Witnesses told police the light aircraft, with its propeller running, had been driven along the street from one end of the mining town to the other. The aircraft did not have wings and was eventually towed away from the pub.
According to ABC NEWs, Newman resident Beau Woolcock said he and his five-year-old daughter were watching on in surprise as the plane was towed away.
"On the way back through [town] ... here's a plane parked outside the Purple Pub," he said. “Even more special [was] seeing one of the local coppers poking his head in the door of the plane looking like he was asking for a licence. Even though no-one was in the plane at the time, I was like, what the hell?"
Police have now charged a 37 year old man who own the plane with undertaking an act with the potential to endanger the life, health or safety of another person. Unfortunately for the man, his plane has been impounded and he is due to appear before the Magistrate in a few weeks’ time on November the 18th.
Newman Sergeant Mark Garner said that although his is a relatively quiet town of around four thousand residents, it was nearing the end of the school day and children would be soon making their way home from school.
"The danger is obviously taxiing a prop plane down Newman Drive, bearing in mind that kids have just come out of school," Sergeant Garner told ABC. "It's a busy Friday afternoon. I know it's Newman but we do get a fair bit of traffic,” said the Sergeant. “When we arrived we found a Beechcraft two seater prop-driven plane parked in one of the bays”.
But there was no-one there and the wings had been taken off the plane.
"We made some inquires with some of the people in the pub and witnesses nearby and ended up speaking to a 37-year-old male,” continued Sergeant Garner. He also added that the fact that the plane did not have a steering wheel could potentially make the situation dangerous, and the propeller could also have caused significant damage, especially if a gust of wind had picked up.
According to some local reports, some at the bar described the man as a “legend” for parking a plane outside the pub and casually walking in for a drink.
"He is one of our local characters," Sergeant Garner told The West Australian. "I need to look at what the appropriate offence would be as it's a bit of an unusual one."