A Cessna 177 crashed near the Whidbey Airpark in Langley on Wednesday, killing two. (Island County Sheriff’s Office)

A Cessna 177 crashed near the Whidbey Airpark in Langley on Wednesday, killing two. (Island County Sheriff’s Office)

Pilots reported engine failure before fatal Whidbey crash

Joshua McCormick, 25, of Edmonds, and Carl Dahlman, 78, of Seattle, both died near Whidbey Airpark.

LANGLEY — Two men died in a small plane crash after an apparent engine failure around noon Wednesday, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities identified the deceased as Carl Dahlman, 78, of Seattle, and Joshua McCormick, 25, of Edmonds.

The Federal Aviation Administration listed Dahlman as a private pilot. McCormick was registered as an instructor pilot with a commercial rating.

According to FlightAware, a database that tracks aircraft flights, the Cessna 177 had traveled from Boeing Field in Seattle to Bellingham in the morning. After a few minutes, the plane took off again from Bellingham, at 11:10 a.m., apparently to return to Boeing Field.

Dahlman and McCormick encountered trouble somewhere along the way. They began descending a little after 11:30 a.m. from an altitude of 6,700 feet near Greenbank and lined up for a landing at Whidbey Airpark, according to FlightAware.

The pilots reported they “lost an engine” and were going down, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Witnesses saw a plane come over the airfield, make a sharp turn, stall and crash into the nearby woods. Deputies found the Cessna crashed nose-first just west of the airfield. Both Dahlman and McCormick died at the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash. A preliminary report should be available within a couple of weeks. The full investigation could take more than a year to complete.

The plane is registered to a flying club in the Seattle area. It was built in 1973 and was certified to fly through 2023.

This is the second fatal crash in two years in the vicinity of the airfield. In January 2019, an Everett man was killed and a woman was seriously injured after crashing what was described as a two-seat experimental aircraft.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

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