On february 13, 1993, at approximately 0100 mountain standard time, a Piper PA 28 180 airplane, N2187R, was substantially damaged upon impact with terrain near Magdalena, New Mexico. The private pilot sustained serious injuries, while his two passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal night cross country flight.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane departed the Compton Municipal Airport in Compton, California on the previous night with 48 gallons of usable fuel on board, with Socorro, New Mexico as their destination. Four hours and twenty minutes after departure, while the airplane was in cruise flight approximately 35 miles from their destination, a loss of engine power was experienced and the pilot, who was receiving traffic advisories from the Albuquerque Center, declared an emergency and requested vectors to the nearest airport. Vectors were issued for the Magdalena Airport.

The airplane went through three dead trees prior to impacting the upslope side of a mountain at an elevation of 6,720 feet, approximately 150 feet from the top of the mountain. After sliding for about 60 feet, the airplane came to rest on a measured heading of 055 degrees. The Albuquerque Center vectored another airplane to the vicinity of the accident and once located they were quickly evacuated.

Damage to the airplane included the shearing of the landing gear, the buckling and wings, and the general distortion of the engine cowling and firewall. Examination of the fuel system by the FAA inspector revealed that both fuel cells were empty.

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