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New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee ice runway draws pilots from around the Northeast

  • Planes are parked after flying in on frozen Lake Winnipesaukee Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Alton,N.H. Dozens of pilots flew in to the the only ice runway in the Lower 48 states approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.  (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    Planes are parked after flying in on frozen Lake Winnipesaukee Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Alton,N.H. Dozens of pilots flew in to the the only ice runway in the Lower 48 states approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)  (The Associated Press)

  • Angela Leedy of Pittstown, N.J., looks for a parking spot after flying three hours to the only ice runway in the Lower 48 states approved by the Federal Aviation Administration Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, on Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton,N.H.   The 3,000-foot airstrip is popular with pilots, said Airport Director Paul LaRochelle, who keeps it plowed when the ice is strong enough. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    Angela Leedy of Pittstown, N.J., looks for a parking spot after flying three hours to the only ice runway in the Lower 48 states approved by the Federal Aviation Administration Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, on Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton,N.H. The 3,000-foot airstrip is popular with pilots, said Airport Director Paul LaRochelle, who keeps it plowed when the ice is strong enough. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)  (The Associated Press)

  • Planes fly into the ice runway on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Alton, N.H.  After weeks of weekend snowstorms pilots across the northeast got a chance to fly onto the only ice runway in the Lower 48 states approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    Planes fly into the ice runway on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in Alton, N.H. After weeks of weekend snowstorms pilots across the northeast got a chance to fly onto the only ice runway in the Lower 48 states approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)  (The Associated Press)

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. It's the only ice runway in the lower 48 states approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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. One pilot flew in from New Jersey.

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