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"Ice Runway" closed due to weather conditions

February 20, 2011, 03:30 pm

The nation's only ice runway at Alton Bay ice airport, located on New Hampshire's Lake Winipisakee, was officially closed for the winter season due to unsafe conditions, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Operators of the runway told the aviation group that thick levels of slush underneath the snow and ice resulting from rain storms have left it difficult for them to plow the snow and dangerous for pilots to land on. They were unable to operate the runway at all this year due to the instability of the landing surface, so they decided to close it for the season, the AOPA said.

Members of the group testified to just how serious the danger is. "This year the ice hasn't been thick enough. We've had a lot of breakthroughs out there," volunteer manager Paul LaRochelle told the source.

Officials are hopeful that they will be able to reopen the airport next season, so long as they don't encounter similar weather.

Though this runway was suffering from not having enough ice, accumulations of ice on regular runways may be a serious hazard to pilots trying to land their planes. Winter conditions can sometimes result in fatal accidents for pilots, which is why they should arm themselves with pilot insurance, to protect their families in the event of a crash.  

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