A Gray man was seriously injured Saturday trying to fly an experimental plane on an icy lake in the western Maine town of Otisfield.

State Police said James Schaff, 65, sustained chest and leg injuries when his single-engine plane slammed nose first onto Pleasant Lake around 12:15 p.m., mangling the front of the aircraft.

FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac described Schaff’s injuries as serious in an email, but Schaff’s cousin, David Clock, who was at the scene of the crash, said they were not life-threatening.

Schaff’s red and white floatplane — with the words “Ol’ Combustible” painted on its side in yellow — crashed as he attempted to take off from the lake, about 30 miles north of Portland, where he has a home on Camp Nona Road.

Salac described the plane as “experimental,” but didn’t elaborate on what that meant in her email.

Schaff was able to free himself from the wreckage and wait for help, according to a Maine State Police spokesman. When emergency personnel arrived, he was rushed to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Around 4:30 p.m., authorities used a winch to tow the heavily damaged plane from the lake to a nearby park.

The lake had some open water, but the plane crashed onto an ice-covered portion and only partially went through the ice, Salac said.

Maine State Police, the Maine Warden Service, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department and the Otisfield Fire Department all responded to the call.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators were headed to the scene late Saturday to try to determine the cause of the accident.