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Maine Game Warden Plane Breaks Through Thin Ice, Pilot OK

A Maine warden managed to escape his plane as it starting crashing through the ice on Eagle Lake Wednesday.

"He had been landing on the lake several times the last few days, but did have to deviate a little bit from wher he had been," says Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald.

MacDonald says Game Warden Pilot Jeff Spencer was monitoring bears when he encountered stronger than anticipated winds. Spencer was then obliged to set the 1979 Cessna 185 down.

"While he was taxiing it began to break through the ice," MacDonald says. "Very fortunately, he was able to exit quickly."

MacDonald says the Cessna remains submerged in the water, suspended by its tail and wings. The department is considering the logistics of how to get it out.

Meanwhile, MacDonald says the pilot was "very shaken up" but otherwise unharmed.

He says the incident should serve as a reminder that ice conditions can vary wildly from place to place, and day to day, and even after testing an area, there's no real guarantee that an accident can't happen.