Australia police question man who parks plane at pub

SYDNEY (AFP) - A man who taxied his light plane down a street in Australia and parked it at a pub while he went inside for a beer was being questioned Monday by police, who were not amused.

Locals in Newman, Western Australia, were stunned when they saw the wingless Beechcraft two-seater aircraft chugging down the main drag of the mining town in the Pilbara region, before pulling up at the local watering hole.

"On the way back through town... here's a plane parked outside the Purple Pub," Newman resident Beau Woolcock told ABC radio.

"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." While the incident quickly became the talk of the town, police did not see the funny side.

"It was a pretty stupid thing to do," Newman police sergeant Mark McKenzie told reporters, saying the propeller was running and it needed to be steered by foot pedals. It was not clear why it had no wings.

"Kids were coming home from school. It could have been very ugly. All he needed was one gust of wind ... because without the wings, it's not stable.

"People think it was a bit of a laugh but it was very dangerous and we're not very happy with it." The West Australian newspaper said staff at the pub had dubbed the man a "legend" for his casual arrival.

Police said they were investigating whether he had committed an offence, given the plane did not leave the ground or cause any traffic accidents and the man passed a breath-test at the scene.

"I need to look at what the appropriate offence would be as it's a bit of an unusual one," said police officer Mark Garner.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.