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Feb 28, 2015 12:50 PM

Lake Winnipesaukee turns into ice runway

The Associated Press

ALTON (AP) - Winter on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee means ice fishing, hockey tournaments and, if the ice is strong enough, airplanes.

After being grounded by bad ice and worse weather for most of the winter, the Alton Bay Seaplane Base and its ice runway are now open. By mid-day on Saturday, more than 50 pilots from all over the Northeast took advantage of a rare, sunny, storm-free Saturday to touch down on the frozen lake, the only ice runway in the lower 48 states approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Angela Leedy flew three hours from Pittstown, New Jersey, landing on the ice runway.

Airport Director Paul LaRochelle says the 3,000-foot airstrip is popular with pilots. He keeps it plowed when the ice is strong enough.


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