AUGUSTA — A Maine game warden on the ground reported that visibility dropped to a half-mile after a warden pilot took off from a frozen lake, the last time the plane was seen before it crashed, killing the pilot.

The Maine Warden Service says its pilots sometimes land on frozen lakes to ride out snow squalls, and some believe that’s what Warden Daryl Gordon was attempting to do when his single-engine Cessna crashed on Clear Lake on March 24.

The Bangor Daily News says a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board found that debris was scattered across about 350 feet.

Gordon had helped another warden on Eagle Lake, and it was that warden who reported low visibility. Another witness heard a plane on Clear Lake but didn’t hear the crash.