The airplane landed hard during a forced landing in mountainous desert terrain at about 1000 Mountain time, sustaining substantial damage. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
The pilot reported departing Santa Monica, Calif., on the morning of the accident. Prior to beginning the flight, he checked the fuel gauges, noting they indicated the tanks were half full. He visually examined their fuel quantity through the filler necks and, observing fuel in the tanks, assumed the gauges were faulty.
He subsequently departed for Santa Ana, Calif., where he picked up a passenger. They departed for Prescott, Ariz., and the pilot reported that the airplane subsequently ran out of fuel as they approached the Parker VOR, where he performed a forced landing into a rocky outcropping. About six ounces of fuel were drained during the airplane’s recovery.