Friday, February 10, 2012

Cessna T182T Turbo Skylane, N6062E: Accident occurred February 09, 2012 in Lebanon, New Hampshire

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA175 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, February 09, 2012 in Lebanon, NH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA T182T, registration: N6062E
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the takeoff climb from runway 36, when the airplane was about 1/2 mile from the runway and at an altitude of 1,500 feet mean sea level, the pilot told the air traffic controller that he needed to return to land. He did not specify the nature of the problem. The pilot aligned the airplane for landing on runway 18 but was too high and fast to land. The airplane continued beyond the departure end of the runway and appeared to enter a modified downwind and base traffic pattern for runway 36. However, witnesses observed the airplane pass through the final approach and then make a sharp left turn back toward runway 36. During that turn, the airplane appeared to stall and subsequently impacted the grass east of runway 36. The airplane had been in a reasonable position to land on runway 36 before it passed through the final approach.

No preimpact anomalies were noted with the airplane or engine. Examination of the engine revealed that the intake and exhaust springs were shorter than the length prescribed by the manufacturer. If the springs were in this condition before the accident, it is likely the pilot would have noticed some engine roughness. However, it is also possible that the springs may have lost tension during the postcrash fire.

Testing of the fuel that was added to the airplane just before takeoff revealed no anomalies. The airplane had flown 8 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which occurred 3 months before the accident. It was unclear how much recent flight time the pilot had accumulated; his most recent logged experience was 3 months before the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed during a return to the airport after takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and loss of airplane control.

 **This report was modified on June 18, 2013. Please see the public docket for this accident to view the original report.**


On February 9, 2012, at 1345 eastern standard time, N6062E, a Cessna T182T, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while returning to land after takeoff from Lebanon Municipal Airport (LEB), Lebanon, New Hampshire. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to air traffic control information provided by personnel at the Lebanon Air Traffic Control Tower:

At 1340, the pilot was cleared for takeoff from runway 36, via a back taxi for a full length departure.

At 1342:51, the pilot stated, "six two echo turning back," and 8 seconds later, the pilot further stated, "lebanon tower six two echo turning back I need to land back."

The tower controller immediately cleared the pilot to land on any runway and reported the wind as "three four zero at six."

At 1343:09, the pilot stated, "six two echo is landing runway one eight." No further transmissions were received from the pilot.

In a written statement, the controller reported that during takeoff, the pilot announced that he needed to return to land, when the airplane was 1/2 mile and 1,500 feet upwind of runway 36 and initiating a left turn. The controller cleared the pilot to land on any runway, and he overflew the tower and eventually lined up with runway 18, south of taxiway A2. However, the airplane did not land on runway 18, as it was high and fast. The airplane continued south and slightly westbound, beyond the departure end of the runway. It then made a left turn back toward the approach end of runway 36, passing through the final approach on a north-northeast heading. A sharp left turn was then observed, back toward runway 36, during which the airplane "rapidly dropped" and impacted the grass east of runway 36.

An airport employee was in a vehicle on the east ramp preparing to cross runway 18-36 when he observed the accident airplane in a "steep dive" for runway 36. The airplane appeared to flare near the runway, so the witness diverted his attention to other tasks. When he looked again, he observed the airplane in a climbing left turn. The airplane flew about 1,000 feet south of runway 36, still in a left turn, passing the center line. As the turn continued it got "sharper," until the airplane appeared to stall and the nose descended to the ground.

Another witness was in a helicopter with a student, preparing for an instructional flight. He heard the accident pilot on the air traffic control tower frequency informing the controller that he "had to come back."

He then observed the airplane flying northeast to southwest over the field, and heard the tower controller clear the airplane to land on any runway.

The accident airplane continued southbound, toward the approach end of runway 36. The helicopter pilot observed the wings "wobbling" (banking left and right) and the airplane "porpoising" while on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for runway 36. The airplane made a turn onto what appeared to be the base leg of the traffic pattern, and it "looked like he was trying to get back to the runway." The airplane then overshot final approach, made a "hard left turn," and then pitched down abruptly. The helicopter pilot described the event as a "stall/spin".

A third witness observed the accident airplane fly over the air traffic control tower, traveling in a southwest direction. He heard the airplane's engine "stop," and then observed the airplane turn back toward the airport. According to the witness, it appeared the airplane was "gliding" with the wings and the tail oscillating during the approach. As the airplane approached the tower, it made a sharp right turn and descended behind a line of trees.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on June 16, 2011. At that time, he reported 1,010 hours of total flight experience.

Two pilot logbooks were provided by the pilot's family after the accident. A review of the logbooks revealed the dates of entries for the first book were from May 26, 2001 to August 1, 2009. During that time period, the pilot logged 846 hours of total flight experience. The second logbook included entries from August 6, 2009 to November 5, 2011. As of the last entry on November 5th, the pilot had accumulated 1,051 hours of total flight experience.


The airplane was manufactured in 2006 and equipped with a Lycoming TIO-540 engine.

The most recent annual inspection was completed on the airframe and engine on November 2, 2011 at a tachometer time of 575 hours. No anomalies were noted during the inspection.

An oil analysis was also performed during the annual inspection, the results of which also indicated no anomalies.

The aircraft and engine logbooks were provided by the pilot’s family. The logbooks contained entries from July 19, 2006 (3.6 hours total time) to November 2, 2011. The compression values noted at the most recent annual inspection were noted as follows: #1 71/80; #2 71/80; #3 70/80; #4 70/80; #5 70/80; #6 69/80. No anomalies were noted in the logbooks.

According to the fixed base operator (FBO) who conducted the annual inspection, the pilot flew into LEB earlier on the day of the accident to have maintenance conducted on the nose landing gear strut. According to maintenance records provided by the FBO, the nose landing gear strut was serviced with nitrogen and no leaks were noted during the subsequent operational check. No additional maintenance was performed on the airplane. The tachometer time recorded during this maintenance was 583 hours.


The weather recorded at LEB, at 1453, included wind from 340 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 6 degrees C, dew point -9 degrees C, and altimeter setting 29.96 inches mercury.


The airplane impacted the frozen ground about 700 feet to the east of runway 36. The wreckage was oriented on a heading of 150 degrees magnetic. All components of the airplane were accounted for at the main wreckage and there was no discernable wreckage path. The airplane was consumed by a post-crash fire, with the exception of a portion of the right wing, and the tail surfaces.

Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces. No instrument readings could be obtained from the instrument panel due to the severe post-crash fire; however, the throttle control was observed in the full forward position. Examination of the flap actuator revealed the flaps were in the retracted position examination of the fuel selector revealed it was in the "BOTH" position.

The 3-blade propeller remained attached to the engine, and the engine remained attached to the airplane firewall. Two of the propeller blades were bent aft 20 degrees and their tips were curled. The remaining blade was bent aft approximately 80 degrees and twisted.

The engine was removed from the airframe and rotated by the propeller. Valve train continuity was confirmed to the rear accessory drive and thumb compression was confirmed on all cylinders, with the exception of the number 5 cylinder.


The State of New Hampshire, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, performed an autopsy on the pilot on February 10, 2012.

The FAA Toxicology and Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma conducted toxicological testing on the pilot. As a result of the testing, Ibuprofen was detected in the pilot's urine.


The engine was sent to the manufacturer for a complete teardown, performed under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. The spark plugs were removed and examination of their electrodes revealed coloration consistent with “normal operation,” as compared to the “Champion Check-A-Plug” chart. The fuel injector servo, flow divider, and fuel pump sustained severe fire and thermal related damages. Examination of the oil filter revealed no metal debris.

The crankcase parting surfaces were unremarkable and no anomalies were noted with the main bearing saddles. All main bearings sustained thermal related heat discoloration from the post impact fire. No anomalies were noted with the main bearing journals. The number 4 and number 5 main bearing journals displayed discoloration consistent with severe fire and thermal related damages. There were no anomalies with the crankshaft gear or associated parts, and all connecting rods were consistent with normal operation.

The number 5 cylinder’s intake and exhaust valves, valve springs keepers, and rocker arms were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for further examination. The examination of the valves revealed no evidence of deformation or mechanical damage. The rocker arms did not exhibit any deformation or mechanical damage on either the intake or exhaust sides.

The intake and exhaust springs consisted of one pair of springs for each side. Each pair consisted of an outer and inner spring concentrically positioned. Both sets of springs for the intake and exhaust did not exhibit any signs of damage. The intake side springs had a normal black oxide appearance, and the exhaust side appeared to have a reddish/brown oxidized appearance, consistent with exposure to higher temperatures. Additionally, the springs on the exhaust side were longer than those on the intake side. The length of the small and large exhaust springs were 1.680 and 1.810 inches, respectively. The length of the small and large intake springs were 1.330 and 1.455 inches, respectively (a detailed Materials Laboratory Factual Report can be found in the public docket for this investigation).

According to Textron Lycoming Service Instruction No. 1240C, the acceptable length of the intake and exhaust springs was 2.2 to 2.5 inches.


Fueling Information

Prior to takeoff from LEB, the airplane was fueled with 54.8 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel.

The fuel truck and fuel supply that were used to fuel the airplane were secured after the accident and a sample from each was tested. No anomalies were noted in the testing. Additionally, one other airplane was fueled from the same supply and truck. That airplane departed without incident, and reported no anomalies.

Paul Schlieben

PETERBOROUGH — A well-known Peterborough resident was killed in a plane crash Thursday afternoon in Lebanon.

Paul Schlieben, a retired software executive, philanthropist and volunteer, died when the Cessna 182 he was flying crashed shortly after takeoff at the Lebanon Municipal Airport.

Emergency crews responded to a call from the Federal Aviation Administration at 1:45 p.m. and found an intact plane engulfed in flames, Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos Jr. said in a statement.

The chief said the plane “was heavily involved in fire in the grassy wetlands area on the east side of runway 36.” He said the fire was quickly extinguished and they found a single victim in the plane.

Lebanon police said investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were due to arrive there this morning.

Schlieben was well-known by many in Peterborough, who are mourning his death today. Selectmen Chairman Barbara A. Miller said Schlieben was known throughout the town for his kindness and generosity.

“Paul really exemplified the American dream, because he built his business, it was successful and he sold it. And then he gave back. He made money and he gave back.”

Schlieben founded SoftLanding Systems Inc. of Peterborough in 1989 and sold it in 2006, according to IT Jungle, an online newsletter about the technology industry. The company specializes in software for mainframe computers.

Robert A. Hanson of Peterborough, a retired consultant who worked at Timken Co. in Keene, met Schlieben in the 1980s when their children attended Monadnock Community Daycare Center. They have been close friends ever since.

“Everybody loved him,” Hanson said this morning. “He treated his employees really well, and was just tremendous in the way he worked for the community.”

Schlieben and his wife, Joan, have been married 35 years and have two children, according to Hanson. A daughter, Jessica, is finishing up her college degree in Boston and is getting married next summer. Their son, Roy, just had a daughter less than a year ago and is in Thailand.

A Peterborough Rotary Club member, Schlieben started Take-Off and Grow in 2007, a program that offered Conval Regional High School students flight time credits in exchange for community service. Although the program was disbanded last year because of the cost, several students earned their pilot’s license. In return, they gave the town more than 2,000 hours of community service, according to Miller.

Schlieben also flew for Angel Flight Northeast, a volunteer pilot association that arranges free air transportation for charitable and medical needs. Hanson said Schlieben flew three or four flights a month for the group. “He’d fly people all over the country, literally,” Hanson said.

Miller said Schlieben was also planning a special Valentine’s Day flight next week as part of a Rotary Club auction fundraiser.

“It’s just a great life snuffed out too early,” she said. “It’s tragic.”

Edward J. Mattern, airport manager at Dillant-Hopkins Airport in North Swanzey, said Schlieben has rented a hangar there for a number of years. Mattern said Schlieben loved introducing young people to flying.

Mike Moriarty, airport maintenance and operations foreman, said Schlieben was well-liked by everybody at the airport. “He really gave a lot to the community,” Moriarty said. “He was really, really a very nice guy.”

Hanson said he had lunch with Schlieben Wednesday, and Schlieben told him he was flying his Cessna from Keene to Lebanon Thursday to have it serviced.

Hanson described Schlieben as “very outgoing” and said “he treated his employees really well” as the owner of SoftLanding. Hanson said Schlieben was renowned for his Christmas party monologues, and the gifts he would give to his employees.

Hanson said Schlieben would walk to Roy’s Market on Main Street every day to buy a paper for his wife, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease. He was an avid reader of the New York Times and his politics were “very liberal,” Hanson said with a chuckle.

He also liked woodworking and had a shop in his garage behind the house, Hanson said.

The Cessna 182 is a four-seater, single-engine plane that has been on the market for 55 years and is frequently used by flight-instructor schools, according to the company’s website.

The Valley News of Lebanon contributed to this report.

LEBANON — A retired Peterborough man died in a plane crash at Lebanon Municipal Airport Thursday.

Paul Schlieben of MacDowell Road was flying his 2006 Cessna 182 Skylane fixed-wing single engine when he crashed near a runway at the airport.

Thursday afternoon his wife of 35 years, Joan Schlieben, confirmed he was killed in the crash.

“I'm just trying to absorb it. I found out a couple of hours ago,” she said.

Police and firefighters received a report of a small plane crash at the airport at 1:45 p.m. The FAA control tower had notified Lebanon Emergency Services Dispatch, the Lebanon Fire Department said in a news release.

“On arrival, units found a single-engine Cessna 182 heavily involved in fire in the grassy, wetlands area on the east side of runway 36. Fire units quickly extinguished the fire and upon further investigation found a single deceased victim in the wreckage of the plane,” fire officials said.

Police and firefighters secured the area and helped officials from the state Medical Examiner's Office remove the crash victim, who was taken to Concord.

Lebanon Police Chief M. James Alexander said the plane “left the airport and was trying to come back for some kind of problem it encountered and tried to land and it was unsuccessful doing that. There was some issue.”

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation into the cause of the crash, confirmed the sole occupant died, but did not identify the pilot.

Peter Knudson, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman, said shortly after the plane took off “the pilot requested a turn back ... The aircraft crashed short of the runway while maneuvering back toward landing.”

Schlieben took up flying in 2001. He retired in 2006 when he sold his Peterborough software business, Softlanding Systems.

He was known in the town and throughout the ConVal School District for his teen flight program Take-Off and Grow, which he founded in 2007. He started the program so he could mentor high school students interested in aviation.

Take-Off and Grow allowed ConVal High School students to exchange community service hours for flight time with the goal of earning a pilot's license.

Two years into the program's inception, two teens had earned their pilot's licenses and three more are well on their way. The program had also logged more than 2,000 volunteer hours in the community.

The program was ultimately dissolved by Schlieben, Peterborough Selectman Barbara Miller said Thursday. It was a nice idea, but too costly, she said.

Miller said Schlieben had also been an active member of the Peterborough Rotary Club.

“He's an example of what every citizen should be, every resident should be, willing to help and lead in public service and volunteerism and you could always count on Paul,” Miller said.

He had also flown for Angel Flight Northeast, a volunteer pilot association that arranges free air transportation for charitable and medical needs.

Investigator Jill Demko of the NTSB Ashburn, Va., office is expected to begin the NTSB investigation of the crash this morning.

In her investigation, Demko will document the crash scene, find and interview witnesses and collect any pertinent traffic control, weather and flight plan data, Knudson said.

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