Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cessna A185F Skywagon, N4756E: Incident occurred December 20, 2017 on Eagle Lake, Aroostook County, Maine

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aircraft landed on lake, went through ice.

Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife

http://registry.faa.gov/N4756E

Date: 20-DEC-17
Time: 16:15:00Z
Regis#: N4756E
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: A185F
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: EAGLE LAKE
State: MAINE





A Maine Warden Service airplane has been safely removed from the ice on Eagle Lake.

With the assistance of a Maine Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, the Cessna 185 aircraft was retrieved without incident.

On Wednesday, Game Warden Pilot Jeff Spencer, based out of Eagle Lake, was returning from a bear telemetry flight in his assigned Cessna 185 aircraft equipped with skis.

Due to strong winds that morning, Pilot Spencer chose to alter his normal landing pattern slightly onto Eagle Lake.

After landing, Pilot Spencer proceeded to taxi across the ice toward the Warden Service Plane Base located on the west shore of Eagle Lake. While taxiing, Pilot Spencer crossed an area of thin ice and the aircraft broke through. Pilot Spencer was able to exit the aircraft without injury. The aircraft became partially submerged but was suspended by its wings and tail.

Maine Warden Service Chief Pilot, Jeff Beach, stated this afternoon that it appeared the aircraft sustained no structural damage. The engine and avionics are currently being dried in the Warden Service hangar at Eagle Lake. Critical components will be assessed for any possible damage in the coming weeks. Attached photo courtesy of the Maine Warden Service. Photo of the Warden Service Cessna 185 in the Eagle Lake hangar.


http://www.wagmtv.com




EAGLE LAKE, Maine — A Fort Kent man on Friday captured video of a Black Hawk helicopter retrieving a Maine Warden Service plane that went through the ice on Eagle Lake earlier this week.

The Cessna 185 broke through the ice just after 11 a.m. on Dec. 20 as warden pilot Jeff Spencer was returning from a bear telemetry flight. The warden service reported that the ice thickness near the base had been checked on Dec. 18 and determined safe for aircraft operations. Strong winds on Wednesday, however, caused the pilot to alter his normal landing pattern on the lake.

“After landing, Pilot Spencer proceeded to taxi across the ice toward the Warden Service Plane Base located on the west shore of Eagle Lake,” Cpl. John MacDonald of the warden service said in a press release on Wednesday night . “While taxing, Pilot Spencer crossed an area of thin ice and the aircraft broke through.”

Spencer was able to exit the aircraft without injury, but the plane became partially submerged and was suspended by its wings and tail.

George Dumond, who used to pilot fixed wing single engine airplanes captured the plane recovery operation on his cell phone from the shore near Route 11 on the lake’s west side.

“The recovered airplane was hoisted to the warden plane base on Eagle Lake and not many people were allowed in that area for safety reasons. I did notice that vehicles were parked by the road on both sides of the lake observing the action,” he told the Fiddlehead Focus Friday afternoon.

Dumond said the operation appeared to be a success and “there were quite a few people on the ice helping to cut and chip away at the ice.”

“The plane did not appear to have much physical damage but I can assure you that the plane’s avionics were most likely destroyed due to being submerged under water,” he said.

MacDonald was off on Friday but said he had requested a summary of the extraction operation from the wardens involved and would provide that information once it becomes available.

Dumond also said he saw some men from a waste recovery company in the area. He assumed they were there to recover any fuel or oil that might spill during the recovery effort, but added that it “looks like none of that happened.”

He said someone on the scene told him the warden service waited a few days for the cold weather to add several more inches of ice to the lake before having crews go out on the lake and attempting to recover the plane.

The plane is one of four aircraft operated by the warden service.

The Eagle Lake Plane Base has been in operation since 1949 and ski equipped aircraft have been used by the Warden Service since the 1940’s for biological, search and rescue and law enforcement operations, MacDonald said in the earlier press release.


Story and video:  https://thecounty.me



Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife


Game warden pilot escapes injury in Aroostook County

A game warden pilot escaped injury today after his aircraft broke through thin ice after landing on Eagle Lake. Just after 11:00 this morning, Game Warden Pilot Jeff Spencer, based out of Eagle Lake, was returning from a bear telemetry flight in his assigned Cessna 185 aircraft equipped with skis. Due to strong winds this morning, Pilot Spencer chose to alter his normal landing pattern slightly onto Eagle Lake.

After landing, Pilot Spencer proceeded to taxi across the ice toward the Warden Service Plane Base located on the west shore of Eagle Lake. While taxiing, Pilot Spencer crossed an area of thin ice and the aircraft broke through. Pilot Spencer was able to exit the aircraft without injury. The aircraft became partially submerged but was suspended by its wings and tail.

Just two days prior on December 18th, several test holes were drilled in various locations near the plane base and the ice was determined safe for aircraft operations. Several takeoffs and landings at this location had been made by Pilot Spencer since Monday the 18th. The aircraft is a 1979 Cessna 185 and is one of four aircraft operated by the Maine Warden Service. Logistics for removing the aircraft are ongoing. The full extent of damage to the aircraft is unknown at this time.

The Eagle Lake Plane Base has been in operation since 1949 and ski equipped aircraft have been used by the Warden Service since the 1940’s for biological, search and rescue and law enforcement operations. We feel very fortunate this evening that Warden Pilot Jeff Spencer escaped this incident without injury.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www1.maine.gov

EAGLE LAKE, Maine — A Maine Warden Service plane went through the ice on Eagle Lake Wednesday afternoon, according to a local man who took a photo of just the tail end sticking out of the water.

Peter Pinette, who lives in a home next to the lake along with his wife Sandra, said that he did not witness the accident but that a relative who lives across the lake contacted the family to tell them about it and warn them not to go out on the lake.

“I went down and there’s a plane sitting through the ice,” he said.

Pinette said a neighbor told him that the pilot had gotten out and was safe.

When contacted by email for comment, Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service confirmed that the pilot was safe but provided no other details about the incident. He said the department was still gathering information and that a press release would be issued later.

Sandra Pinette posted her husband’s photo of the submerged plane surrounded by ice on her Facebook page to warn others of the potential danger of going out on the lake.

“My wife posted on Facebook that the lake is not safe and to be careful because this is what happened. Nobody should be on the lake without testing it,” Peter Pinette said.

He added that last Friday he and his adult son measured the ice on the lake and found it to be unsafe.

“My son and I were cutting holes to see the thickness of the ice and near the shore it was about six to eight inches. As we were going out to the center it was dropping down in size to four inches. One place had three inches and we decided that was it. We walked back. We weren’t going any further. It’s not a good situation,” he said.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://thecounty.me

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