On July 26, 2002, at approximately 1550 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-24-250, N6887F, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Peyton, Colorado. The commercial pilot and his two passengers were not injured. The pilot was operating the airplane under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country personal flight which originated from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, approximately 3 hours, 10 minutes before the accident. The pilot had not filed a flight plan; he said Meadow Lake Airport, Colorado Springs, Colorado, was his intended destination.

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 their respective tanks. In the performance section of the Pilot's Operating Handbook, 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.

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