National 12.8.2016 10:23 am

Plane lands in Durban sea world aquarium

From the air to water, the aircraft has new life at the bottom of the aquarium at uShaka Marine World. Picture: North Coast Courier

From the air to water, the aircraft has new life at the bottom of the aquarium at uShaka Marine World. Picture: North Coast Courier

The aquarium’s unique undersea theme is acknowledged as one of the most creative in the world.

An aeroplane, donated by a Ballito chicken farmer, is the new addition to the Shark Exhibit at UShaka Sea World, reports North Coast Courier.

Nick Lincoln, whose farm is near Rain Farm Game and Lodge, is a pilot who flies “for the love of it”.

He owned a six-seater Beechcraft Baron for four years and, to make ends meet, used the plane in commercial operations.

Nick Lincoln in his Beechcraft Baron. Picture: North Coast Courier.

Nick Lincoln in his Beechcraft Baron. Picture: North Coast Courier.

“Sadly, the aircraft was in an accident in an aborted take-off during a commercial flight and was so damaged it was written off,” said Lincoln.

“Fortunately there were no fatalities. But I was very upset as I was attached to this plane. I bought the wreck from the insurers and stripped it down for spares. But the fuselage was twisted beyond repair and there was no use for it.”

Instead of taking it to a scrapyard, Lincoln offered it to uShaka Marine World.

Director of uShaka Sea World, Tony McEwan said, “I was approached by Nick Lincoln and asked whether I thought we would be able to utilise his aeroplane as a feature at uShaka Marine World. It only took a few seconds to reply, as I knew immediately it would make a wonderful addition to the Aquarium’s shipwreck theme,” said

Last week, the six-seater Beechcraft aeroplane was lowered into the shark exhibit after it was stripped of its engine and all peripheral pieces, and sprayed with a protective epoxy coating.

The aircraft is carried to the shark exhibition. Picture: North Coast Courier.

The aircraft is carried to the shark exhibition. Picture: North Coast Courier.

The unique undersea theme of the aquarium is internationally acknowledged as one of the most creative of all aquarium themes throughout the world. “We trust that the aeroplane will be an exciting addition to the aquarium’s unique theming and that the fish in the shark exhibit will enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies,” said McEwan.

Visitors expressed their support for the new feature on the uShaka Marine World Facebook page:

A screenshot of comments posted by visitors on the uShaka Marine World Facebook page.

A screenshot of comments posted by visitors on the uShaka Marine World Facebook page.

Caxton News Service

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