DFW06CA064
DFW06CA064

The 600-hour private pilot became lost during a 125-nautical mile dead reckoning cross-country flight. Running low on fuel, the pilot elected to land at a ranch. Upon landing, the pilot realized that he was in Mexico, approximately 206 miles south of his intended destination. The pilot quickly departed the ranch and flew in a northerly direction until he spotted a Texas flag. Estimating that he had about 3 gallons of fuel remaining, the pilot elected to land on a gravel road before his remaining fuel was exhausted. While on final approach to the gravel road, the pilot observed a tall fence running parallel to the road and elected to land off the road on rocky and uneven terrain. While landing, the airplane's horizontal stabilizer sustained structural damage following impact with sagebrush and cactus plants. The pilot reported that he did not have a navigational chart on board the airplane, and very strong winds aloft, with speeds up to 65 mph, prevailed throughout the area, forcing his airplane off-course.

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