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Croatian turns garden into site for plane parties

  • Sedlar says parking a plane next to his house was an idea from childhood. Photo courtesy: AFP
  • Sedlar says he plans to rent the aircraft for weddings and children's parties. Photo courtesy: AFP
  • The plane is currently stripped of all seats and engines. Photo courtesy: AFP
  • Sedlar hopes to open the plane for business on his 51st birthday. Photo courtesy: AFP

Strmec Stubički (AFP) -- In the middle of a tiny village in northwestern Croatia lies a Fokker-100 plane parked in a local resident's garden, but after 23 years of travelling the world, the aircraft will not be going anywhere.

Plane enthusiast Robert Sedlar, 50, and his friends are finding a new use for the aircraft by transforming it into a tourist attraction where it will be rented out for all sorts of events and parties.

Cars slow down to view the scene that resembles an accident site in the picturesque hilly village of Strmec Stubicki,

The Dutch jet, made in 1991 and retired in 2014, was used by companies in Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil and Croatia.

Sedlar, a construction engineer, did not want to disclose the amount he paid for the aircraft.

He said he plans to rent it for events such as weddings and children's parties.

He told AFP that "parking" a plane next to his house in the village of 760 inhabitants was an "idea from his childhood, born out of a love for planes".

The aircraft, built to carry 100 passengers, is currently stripped of all seats, engines and cockpit equipment. All that remains are the throttles.

Getting the plane from Osijek airport, 340 kilometres (211 miles) from the village was a big operation.

"Because of its exceptional dimensions, a span of 28 metres and a length of 34.5 metres (91 by 113 feet), we had to break it down into several pieces to transport it," Sedlar said.

It took six weekends to break down the plane and five days to transport it.

"Now, we reconstruct it, we will repair the damaged parts of the hull, before painting it... In the cockpit, we will put two flight simulators," he said.

The plane enthusiast has set March 8 as the opening date, the same day as his 51st birthday and International Women's Day.

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