Cessna plane crashes at Coila | Photos

A Cessna light aircraft has crashed nose first into the dirt just next to the Coila service station.

But don’t worry there are no injuries as its all part of service station owner Pete Ward’s plan to put a smile on passing motorists and make his place a bit of a tourist attraction.

He also has the iconic bikini prawn girl, a mannequin who sports a new bikini each day advertising his fresh prawns for sale. Click here to read more

And these quirky roadside attractions have worked, as the bright pink plane has 30 or 40 people stopping for photos a day during the peak holiday season.

Chloe Fisher of Canberra and her dad were one of those last week as they stopped for photos on their way back home after a couple of days staying in a beach cabin at Narooma.

They like most people ask Mr Ward what it is all about and where the plane came from.

He tells them: “I’ve never been married or had kids so this what I do. I’ve got the time and energy to do it.”

The crashed plane has been so popular he has written to the Cancer Council about making regular donations and he now has a donation box to install at the plane asking for gold coins.

The story goes that a few years ago, he met a man from Merimbula who collected airplane frames and parts, and he had an old Cessna body for sale.

Mr Ward thought it would be perfect to be a roadside attraction and so shipped it up to the service station where it has now been installed nose down in the dirt, using very strong “BHP’s best” steel and a whole heap of concrete.

His first attempt at the installation with the plane on an angle failed, when strong winds bent the steel mounts.

“It’s not going anywhere now unless we have a hurricane and half of Tuross blows away,” he said.

And why the bright shade of pink? Well initially it was going to be a cream, off-white colour like the original body, but his house painter mate had a whole bunch of pink paint.

So why not and now it really can’t be missed on the highway.

Stay tuned to this space as Mr Ward has additional plans, but we can’t let on just yet what might appear on the roadside in the near future.

“People are so caught with politics and serious issues these days, I just want to give people a laugh and a bit of a giggle,” he said. “The kids on the school bus always give a wave and a whistle, so its part of the scenery now.”

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