On July 10, 2004 at 0200 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-161, N6AU, registered to and operated by CMC Aviation Services Co., collided with the ground in Tallassee, Alabama. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged. The private pilot received minor injuries. The flight originated at Wetumpka Municipal Airport, Wetumpka, Alabama, on July 9, 2004 at 2330.

The operator had not authorized the personal flight. The pilot stated that he had decided to take a pleasure flight in the local area. The pilot said that he performed a preflight on the airplane and that he observed the fuel tanks to be "half full". The pilot then took off from Wetumpka Municipal Airport and went to Autauga County Airport in Prattville, Alabama where he performed three touch and go landings and flew around the local area. The pilot flew back to Wetumpka and performed four touch and go landings and again flew around the local area. From there, the pilot decided that he would fly to Auburn, Alabama. While enroute, the pilot stated that he "fell asleep and ran the left fuel tank empty." His next memory was the impact with the ground in a cotton field.

Examination of the airplane revealed the wreckage path was approximately 50 feet long on a heading of 210 degrees. All three landing gears were separated from the airplane and both propeller blades were bent aft with no rotational twisting of the blades. The engine mount was broken, the throttle control was found closed, the mixture was found full rich and the fuel selector was found on the left tank. No fuel was found in the left fuel tank, however 10 to 15 gallons of fuel were found in the right fuel tank.

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