On December 1, 1996, at 1036 hours mountain standard time, a Piper PA-32R-301T, N3566X, collided with ground obstructions during a forced landing on a fire service road near the Grand Canyon Airport, Tusayan, Arizona. The forced landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power during cruise. The aircraft incurred substantial damage. The certificated private pilot and the four passengers onboard were not injured. The aircraft was operated by the pilot on a personal cross-country flight from St. George, Utah, to the Grand Canyon Airport. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the operation. The flight departed St. George on the day of the accident at an undetermined time.

According to the Federal Aviation Administation Air Traffic Control Tower at Grand Canyon, the pilot called on the radio at 1009 and stated he was inbound to the airport with a low fuel state. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported that the engine had quit and he would not make the runway. The aircraft landed on forest service road FS328 and collided with trees during the ground roll. In a written statement to responding Coconino County Sheriff's deputies the pilot reported that he "miscalculated the fuel for the duration of the trip and ran out of gas."

Air Transport of Phoenix, Arizona, is the aircraft salvage firm retained by the owner to retrieve the wreckage. The crew who picked up the aircraft were interviewed by telephone. They reported that as they disassembled the aircraft the fuel system was documented to be intact, with only residual fuel in the tanks and lines.

The pilot did not respond to repeated mail and telephone requests for a statement.

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