Icy landing: runway opens on frozen US lake | Inquirer News
Close  

Icy landing: runway opens on frozen US lake

/ 01:22 PM February 23, 2021

This video frame grab image obtained February 22, 2021 shows pilot Scott Bahan in a Piper Cherokee small plane as it taxis to the runway in Alton, New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. Pilots comfortable with an icy landing can now use a runway on a frozen lake in the northeastern US state of New Hampshire. Photo by Joseph PREZIOSO / AFP

ALTON, United States — Pilots comfortable with an icy landing can now use a runway on a frozen lake in the northeastern US state of New Hampshire.

The 2,600-foot strip at Alton Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee opened to the public earlier this month when the ice became at least 12 inches thick.

ADVERTISEMENT

On Saturday, almost 20 inches of solid ice was measured.

It is the only ice runway approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States and is not for the faint-hearted.

FEATURED STORIES

“Ice is slippery. We get that a lot from the pilots,” said airport supervisor Carol Niewola of New Hampshire’s aeronautic transportation department.

“Turning, stopping, those are all really difficult moves that are very easy to do out on paved or grass runways, but here on the ice it can be very different.

“There is a little bit of snow cover on the ice that gives it just a little bit of grip, but it’s not very good,” she added.

The runway did not open for take-offs and landings last year because the ice was not thick enough.

Paul LaRochelle manages the airport and goes out every day to measure the ice’s thickness.

“We won’t drive our trucks out here without having at least 12 inches of ice. If we have 9 inches here, 12 over here, 10 down there, we don’t open. Not until we’re even everywhere,” he said.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation helps manage the runway and provides LaRochelle with a crew of workers.

They clear the runway of snow and ensure planes take-off, land and park safely.

Click here for more weather related news.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Aviation, US, Weather
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.