On April 14, 2001, about 1224 hours mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-235, N8731W, sustained substantial damage when it made a hard, forced landing near a highway following a loss of engine power about 30 miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona. The pilot was operating the borrowed airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The personal cross-country flight departed Cedar City, Utah, about 1130, en route to Deer Valley, Arizona. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan had been filed.

The Federal Aviation Administration)accident coordinator interviewed the pilot. The pilot said he completed a 2.5-hour flight from Deer Valley to Cedar City in the morning and did not experience any problems with the airplane. He filled all four fuel tanks in Cedar City. He started the return flight on the right wing tip tank. He switched to the left wing tip tank near Page, Arizona. About 20 minutes later the engine began to run rough, and then it lost all power. The pilot did not switch fuel tanks again.

In his statement to the Safety Board, the pilot stated he did not switch fuel tanks because he believed there was "ample fuel in left tip." The pilot set up to land on a highway, but a traffic conflict forced him to land in terrain alongside the road. He landed the airplane approximately 70 yards from the highway and all three landing gear sheared off.

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