On October 31, 2002, at 1110 central standard time, a Cessna 177RG single-engine airplane, N35866, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during cruise flight near Marshall, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by RAS Inc., of Deland, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight. The flight departed the Carroll County Airport, Berryville, Arkansas, approximately 1040, with an intended destination of Clinton, Arkansas. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a telephone interview conducted by the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that approximately 5 miles from the Carroll County Airport, the engine started to lose power. The pilot turned the airplane back toward the airport; however, the engine regained power, and the pilot elected to continue the flight. Approximately 25 minutes later, while in cruise flight at 3,000 feet mean sea level (msl), the engine gradually lost power, then after 2 minutes, the engine lost total power. In an attempt to regain engine power, the pilot checked the magnetos, fuel boost pump, and adjusted the throttle, mixture, and propeller settings. Unable to restart the engine, the pilot initiated a forced landing to a field. During the forced landing, the airplane struck a ditch, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The pilot added that the airplane's fuel tanks contained approximately 2.5 hours of fuel at the time of departure.
According to an FAA inspector, the left and right wing spars and rudder sustained structural damage.
On November 2, 2002, an FAA inspector examined the airframe and engine at a facility in Berryville. The inspector reported that he rotated the propeller through several times, and the rotation was "smooth and normal." The inspector checked the fuel for contamination, and no anomalies were noted with fuel sample.
On November 6, 2002, at the facility in Berryville, under the supervision of an FAA inspector, the airframe and engine were visually examined and an engine test-run was conducted. No anomalies were noted with the engine. The engine started on the first attempt and was operated for approximately three minutes. During the engine test run, the throttle was advanced to approximately 1,000-1,100 revolutions per minute (rpm), and then decreased to 900 rpms, no hesitation or lag was noted. The mixture control was then moved to almost full aft (lean) and the power reduced with no hesitation or lag. The mixture control was then moved to full forward (rich), and the power increased back to 900 rpms with no hesitation or lag noted. No anomalies were noted during the engine test run.
The engine logbooks revealed that the Lycoming IO-360-A1B6D engine, serial number, L-16456-51A, most recent annual inspection was completed on October 30, 2002, at a tachometer time of 2,014.2 hours. In addition, a major overhaul to the engine was completed on October 29, 2002, at a tachometer time of 2,041.2 hours. The recorded tachometer time at the accident site was 2,042.2 hours.
The reason for the total loss of engine power was not determined.