**This report was modified on June 18, 2013. Please see the public docket for this accident to view the original report.** Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
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.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
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.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
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.
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.