On January 24, 2005, approximately 1245 central standard time, a Maule M-4-210C single-engine airplane, N9866M, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a reported loss of engine power, approximately five miles east of McAlister Regional Airport (MLC), near McAlister, Oklahoma. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant and owner of the airplane, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 91. The cross-country flight originated from the Jackson International Airport (JAN), near Jackson, Mississippi, at 0800.

In a telephone interview with an NTSB representative, the private pilot reported that during the trip, he had been monitoring his fuel quantity based on calculations derived from the fuel flow indications by a fuel flow meter that was installed in his airplane. He stated that he was convinced he had enough fuel to make it to MLC; however, when the airplane was approximately five miles east of MLC, "the engine quit." The pilot noticed that the fuel quantity indicators indicated that the fuel tanks were empty. The pilot then elected to execute a forced landing into a cow pasture to the south; however, he did not complete the emergency pre-landing checklist, which included instructions to pull the mixture to an "idle cut-off" position and turn off the ignition switch. The pilot added that he circled the field once to lose altitude and attempted to land in a southerly direction when the engine got a "surge of fuel" and "restarted at full cruise power." The pilot then made a 180-degree turn to stay in the field. During the turn, the engine lost power again, and "the airplane stalled and landed hard."

An examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, who travelled to the accident site, revealed that the fuel tanks were empty, the right wing had partially separated from the fuselage, and the wing struts on both sides of the airplane were damaged. Additionally, all three landing gear had collapsed and the propeller was damaged.

At 1253, the automated weather observing system at MLC reported wind from 210 degrees at 13 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 23 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure setting of 30.17 inches of Mercury.

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