EAGLE LAKE, Maine — A new pilot for the Maine Warden Service was selected Friday to fill a vacancy left after a veteran pilot was killed in a plane crash last year.
Officials with the warden service announced Friday that Alex Candlin Barry, an Old Town native and University of Maine graduate, was hired for the Eagle Lake patrol. He takes over the area once served by Warden Pilot Daryl R. Gordon, a 25-year veteran who died last March when his plane crashed on Clear Lake in a remote section of Piscataquis County
Gordon, 60, of Eagle Lake was patrolling alone. He was the 15th game warden to die in the line of duty in the Maine Warden Service’s 130-year history.
Barry holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry and joined the Maine Air National Guard in 2003. He attended Air Force pilot training and also attended KC-135 tanker training in Oklahoma. He has been a full-time aircraft commander in KC-135 tankers stationed out of Bangor since April 2005.
Barry gained civilian flight experience with a family-owned Cessna 180 and 185.
“I am very excited to have this position and I am looking forward to getting out and working with department employees,” he said in a written statement Friday.
Warden pilots must possess a commercial pilot license and have experience in the operation of aircraft in bush-type conditions. State officials said that 19 pilots from across the country applied for the position.
“I am very pleased that we were able to bring Alex aboard,” said Chief Pilot Charles Later. “His flight experience in the same type of Cessna’s that we operate all four seasons across the state is crucial to the position. As an aircraft commander for the Maine Air Guard, he has demonstrated the ability to make critical decisions that not only affect the safety of a multi-million dollar aircraft, but more importantly that of his crew.”
Barry is working with Later out of the Greenville Air Base to become familiar with warden service air operations. He will be assuming the Eagle Lake patrol next week.