Stall leads to crash

Aircraft: Cessna Turbo 182. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Lebanon, N.H. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot took off from runway 36. A few minutes later when the plane was about a half mile from the runway at an altitude of 1,500 MSL, the pilot advised air traffic control that he needed to return to land.

He did not say why. He 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.

According to witnesses on the ground, the airplane passed through the final approach then made a sharp left turn back toward runway 36. During that turn, the airplane stalled, then crashed.

The post-accident investigation 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 post-crash fire.

Probable cause: 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.

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA175 

This February 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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