NTSB Identification: DEN02LA082.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 26, 2002 in Peyton, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N6887F
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot said that the fuel tanks were topped off with a total of 60 gallons of fuel before the flight. He said that he flew for approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes and the "airplane ran out of fuel." He performed a forced landing to a road, but the road ended short of the required braking distance. The pilot said that he applied "heavy" left rudder to avoid hitting telephone poles, "J" boxes, and a fence. The right main landing gear folded under the fuselage, and subsequently, the right wing and right horizontal stabilizer were bent up. Postaccident examination, by the pilot, of the fuel tank area revealed some fuel residue stains inside the fuel door. The airplane was equipped with "thermos bottle" type fuel caps and the pilot believed that fuel was being siphoned out of the tanks. In the performance section of the Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH), the fuel consumption at 19.5 inches of manifold pressure, 2,450 revolutions per minute, and 6,500 to 7,500 feet cruising altitude, was approximately 13 gallons per hour.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of leaking fuel caps. Contributing to the accident was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

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