Steamboat Springs man dies in Indiana plane crash
Schlichtman was an active member of the community, serving on Search and Rescue and on Rotary
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Steamboat Springs man was among two killed in an aircraft crash Tuesday morning in southwest Indiana, according to authorities.
The Posey County, Indiana coroner’s office identified Mike Schlichtman, 57, of Steamboat as one of the two men who died when their ultralight aircraft crashed southwest of Evansville, Indiana, near the Kentucky and Illinois borders. The aircraft’s other occupant was identified as William Rohland, 75, of Garden Grove, California.
It was reported that the aircraft crashed around 8:23 a.m. CST, south of the airfield from where it took off.
Schlichtman had traveled to Indiana to look at and test out small planes for a possible purchase, according to his family.
Schlichtman was a licensed pilot and an avid cyclist. He was active in the community and fully engaged in his passion for the outdoors. He was a ski instructor at Steamboat Resort, served as a Rotarian with Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs and was a volunteer member of Routt County Search and Rescue.
“He was just a tremendous guy. He was a great friend and a great team member,” said Jay Bowman, president of Search and Rescue. “He was someone who we will all dearly miss.”
Schlichtman went out with the team on its most recent rescue mission Oct. 1. They tended to an injured bicyclist along the Flash of Gold trail on Buffalo Pass.
The rescued man sent Bowman an email on Tuesday expressing his gratitude.
“That person has reached out to the team and said, ‘What a tremendous and awesome group of people who dropped everything to help him,’” Bowman said. “And Mike was one of those people.”
Bowman described Schlichtman as somebody who the team was looking forward to having around for a long time. Schlichtman, who had been a team member for several years, was seen as somebody who would have risen up the ranks.
“His enthusiasm, his knowledge and calm approach to everything will certainly be missed,” Bowman said.
Schlichtman’s wife of 35 years, Lisa Schlichtman, is editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Together they have two adult sons, Ryan and Nick. He is originally from Cassville, Missouri, where he owned and continued to operate several car washes after moving to Steamboat with his family in 2013.
“He would bring light to every situation,” said Gillian Morris, president of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs. “He was so interesting; always doing fun stuff.”
An exact cause of death has yet to be determined, according to authorities. The two men were still inside the aircraft when first responders arrived to the scene.
Investigators with the Posey County Sheriff’s Office said they have been working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board to establish the cause of the crash.
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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