The Pilots Radioed That Engine Power Was Intermittent And Was At Idle

Location: Langley, WA Accident Number: WPR21FA045
Date & Time: November 11, 2020, 11:44 Local Registration: N34633
Aircraft: Cessna 177 Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:

On November 11, 2020, at 1144 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 177B airplane, N34633, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Whidbey Air Park (W10), Langley, Washington. The private pilot and certified flight instructor (CFI) were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

Radar data indicated that the airplane flew from Boeing field (BFI), Seattle, Washington, to Bellingham International Airport (BLI) Bellingham, Washington, earlier in the day. About 1110, the airplane departed BLI and flew south over Whidbey island. The airplane climbed to about 6,500 feet MSL for about 16 minutes when the airplane’s groundspeed decreased, and the airplane started to descend.

Shortly thereafter the pilot reported to air traffic control that they were declaring an emergency, and the airplane’s transponder code changed to 7700. The pilot reported that the airplane was at full power, but it was in a slow descent and unable to hold altitude. The airplane continued southeast for about 2 miles when it made a left turn east and then southeast. The pilots radioed that engine power was intermittent and was at idle. The airplane continued to descend; it crossed over highway 525 then turned northeast toward W10. The airplane’s track made an abrupt right turn before turning north towards W10 in a descending “S” turn. The last radar point was over the runway at about 300 feet.

The airplane impacted the ground nose low amongst trees about 153 feet west of the runway surface. The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination.