While an assortment of vehicles chugged along the ice on treads, skis and studded wheels, the airspace above the frozen lake had its own array of strange traffic.

A LifeFlight medical helicopter made a brief appearance on Saturday before it was called away to respond to an emergency.

A Coast Guard helicopter, complete with a full crew, sea rescue winch and torpedo tubes was on the ground for the public to see.

The chopper crew held a search and rescue simulation for the crowd gathered at about noon on Saturday around the lagoon at Point Sebago Resort.

Richard Dyke of Dyke Associates in Windham lent his JetRanger corporate helicopter. Volunteer Gene Hawkes of Windham, who organized the aircraft aspect of the derby, worked as the ground crew in his highly-visible orange jacket. He said there was a constant stream of people paying for a quick ride above the lake.

C-R Helicopters Inc., a flight school from Nashua, N.H., also provided several helicopters. Hawkes and derby organizer Tom Noonan both said the cost of flying helicopters for the weekend from private companies made the free use of their aircraft a tremendous donation.

Saturday’s heavy winds kept the brightly-colored RE/MAX balloon away on Saturday. It was present on Sunday but unexpected gusts kept it grounded.

Helicopters flock to derbyHelicopters flock to derby


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