Eagle Lake, ME. – June 14, 1979

Eagle Lake, Maine – June 14, 1979

     On June 14, 1979, a C-54 aircraft which had been converted for insecticide spraying work, was spraying for spruce budworm over northern Maine.  The spraying program was being conducted in an attempt to halt the spread of the budworm, and prevent it from killing evergreen trees throughout the state.    

     As the aircraft was passing near Eagle Lake in Aroostook County, a fire developed in the cockpit.  With no open area to set down, the pilot landed the huge aircraft on Eagle Lake.  The pilot and co-pilot were the only two persons aboard, and neither was injured.  The plane remained afloat and was towed to shore by boaters.  

     A logistical problem concerned just how the aircraft was to be removed.  One suggestion was to cut a one-thousand foot swath through the woodlands from the lake shore to a narrow dirt road leading away from the area.  Another idea was to float the plane to another area where it could be removed via another dirt road.  However, the aircraft has a 117 foot wingspan, which neither road could accommodate.  A third option was to dismantle the plane.   

     Source:

     Providence Sunday Journal, “Me. Officials Trying To Move Bug-spray Plane From Lake”, June 27, 1979, page A2 (with photo of plane in water.)  

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