Due to the cold snap, the American lake of Winnipesaukee, turned into tarmac. He saw several aircraft land over the weekend.
A frozen lake transformed into an airstrip: this is not possible every winter, but this season it is cold enough to allow planes to land on Lake Winnipesaukee, in the state of New Hampshire (north- is).
Nearly 800 meters long, the runway can only open when the ice is at least 30 centimeters thick, explains Paul LaRochelle, manager of this airport – the only ice airport approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US air transport agency.
“We don’t drive our trucks so far if we don’t have 30 cm of ice. If we have 22 cm there, 30 cm there, 25 cm yet in another place, we do not open. Not as long as it is not the same thickness everywhere, ”explains the manager, who goes out every day to measure the thickness of the ice.
This weekend, the thickness reached 50 cm, and the airport, opened a week earlier with staff from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, saw several aircraft land. Not without difficulties.
“The ice is slippery. Lots of pilots say so, ”says one of the runway operations manager, Carol Niewola. “Turning and stopping become difficult maneuvers, although they are very easy to do on paved tracks or with grass, but here on the ice, it’s very different”.
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