By Allan Povah
Woree hairdresser, Kenneth Wong (above), has opened his private aviation crash museum to the general public and has been overwhelmed with the positive reaction.
Mr Wong, 43, has lovingly created true-to-scale reconstructions of real-life non-fatal airline disasters, all in his own backyard.
“Everyone is fascinated by air disasters,” said Mr Wong. “Each one is unique and tells it’s own tale of triumph, heartache and human error. And terror. And lots of shrieking. There is a lesson to be learned from each incident, and I’m doing my best to pass on these lessons to the kiddies.”
Wong’s obsession with air disasters began in 2013 in the Philippines. He was a passenger on board Cebu Pacific Air flight 917 when it overshot the runway on landing in Davao City. There were no fatalities, but that day an artist was born.
“It was so thrilling,” related Mr Wong. “Violently bumpy and super fun. I’d always wonder what it would be like to fly into a bit of cumulus granitis in an Airbus A320 and it was even more exciting than I imagined”.
Taking inspiration from his near-death experience, Mr Wong spent the next six months planning and painstakingly constructing his first sculpture “Screams in the Philippines” (below).
He has since added another 22 artworks, including the precise and very respectful recreation (below) of the 2017 SilkAir flight 233 incident, titled “Truck Love“.
Mr Wong is reportedly working on a tribute to QF32, tentatively titled “Ooh shit said Captain Crispy.”
Tickets to the museum are available at the entrance for $96pp plus GST. Children and Sikhs are half-price, and there is free entry for uniformed aircrew.