Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Man fined for parking plane outside pub

Anthony "Auto" Whiteway. 
Picture: Facebook

The Newman man who made international headlines for driving his plane to the pub for a "lemonade" last month has been fined more than $5000 and ordered to repay police towage costs.

Anthony "Auto" Whiteway, 37, told the North West Telegraph he was feeling "a little parched" when he decided to stop for a lemonade at the Purple Pub midway through taxiing his newly purchased two-seater plane home.

"I was a little hot, a little parched and I called into the pub and that was OK at first," Mr Whiteway said.

"I went to the toilet and when I came out all hell had broken loose.

"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'."

Mr Whiteway said he had no idea the stunt would attract international attention.

"I just thought I'll call into to the pub for a quick lemonade and maybe get a happy snap for a giggle and put it on my Facebook page," he said.

"The whole town's telling me I'm their idol. I've been signing girls' T-shirts in the pub.

"It's been unreal."

Police failed to see the funny side of Mr Whiteway's antics, claiming the incident occurred when children were walking home from school and the state of the engine was "potentially dangerous".

Mr Whiteway pleaded guilty in Newman Magistrate's Court yesterday to endangering the life, health or safety of a person, an offense with a maximum penalty of seven years jail.

Mr Whiteway has been allowed to keep the plane despite police labeling the prank "pretty stupid" at the time.

Newman police Sgt Mark McKenzie said the plane had its propeller running, its wings removed and was steered by foot pedals.

"All he needed was one gust of wind . . . because without the wings, it's not stable," he said.

"People think it was a bit of a laugh but it was very dangerous."

But Mr Whiteway said there was no malicious intent in his actions and that he bought the plane in the hope of becoming a pilot.

"I knew what I was doing," he said. "I taxied it perfectly. Look how well I parked it."

- Source: https://au.news.yahoo.com

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