On July 8, 2000, about 1615 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Maule M-4-210C airplane, N9855M, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing at an off airport site, about 11 miles east of Palmer, Alaska, at 61 degrees, 07 minutes north latitude, 148 degrees, 43 minutes west longitude. The solo certificated private pilot was not injured. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 1415, from the Tok Airport, Tok, Alaska.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on July 9, the pilot reported that while in cruise flight, just after switching the fuel selector valve from the right fuel tank to the left fuel tank, all engine power was lost. He said that emergency engine procedures did not restore engine power, and he selected a sand bar as a forced landing area. During the landing roll the left main wheel struck a rut, and the left main landing gear collapsed. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing, and left wing lift strut.

The pilot submitted a written report to the NTSB dated August 23. In a cover letter that accompanied the NTSB form 6120.1/2, the pilot wrote: "It was a matter of running out of fuel without realizing what was going on and setting down in the most inviting spot."

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