An Excerpt Of Jake Morrel’s New & Coming Book: “Gary Dumond remembers Maine Warden Pilots”
Excerpt from the new book shared by Jake Morrel – … Mac Maheu (Maine Warden Pilot) was coming back from Waterville. That’s when they were doing the maintenance there, late 40s. He was flying a Cruiser on wheels and was headed to the Fort Kent airport because Eagle Lake wasn’t frozen. And Mac got just east of First Musquacook Lake and he lost oil pressure. He turned toward the nearest trapper’s cabin, what had been Bill Szabo’s camp.
So he put it down right along shore on thin ice. The rest of the pond was open water. Just as he was almost stopped, the wheels broke through and the Cruiser went over on it’s back. He got out without getting wet and sat on the tail.
No radios, he couldn’t call anyone and he was 100 yards from shelter. Finally, he climbed into the water up to his armpits, broke the thin ice with his elbows and waded ashore. There was no axe in the cabin and his was still in the plane. Mac goes back, wades to the upside down plane but can’t find the axe. He went under water, reached further in and found it up under the instrument panel. The hatchet had been thrown forward when the plane flipped.
He went back, got a fire going and dried his clothes. The next day he struck off through the woods to Squirrel Pond, half way to Ashland, and stayed at another trapper’s cabin. Midway through the third day he stepped out onto a road. “Sleepy” Atkins, another warden pilot, picked him up. The weather the previous two days had grounded the planes. That year they called Mac the walking pilot.
In three months he went down three times. He lost an engine and went down in back of the Clear Lake camp and landed in the trees over near Portage. Never got a scratch on him! I remember Mac used to smile and say, “Did you ever climb down out of a tree that you never climbed up?”…
Jake Morrel is a retired commercial seaplane pilot and author now living in Portland Maine. Beginning in 1972 Jake Morrel learned to fly, piloting a prewar Taylorcraft BC-65. By the end of 1974 he had earned a private, commercial land and sea, and instructor’s rating in that same plane. Starting in 1976, Jake flew commercial floatplanes out of Greenville, Maine. After working for Folsoms Air Service, he and his wife Beth bought a dilapidated set of log- buildings and established a new fly-in business, Hardscrabble Lodge. A Super Cub floatplane became the Lodge pick-up truck which Jake flew several hours each day. Jake has released two books which you see advertised on our pages. “Hardscrabble Lodge
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