At 0135 central time, a Piper PA-24-250 crashed during a night forced landing about a half mile southeast of the Johnson Airport. The pilot and passenger received serious injuries. The flight originated from San Antonio, Texas, where the pilot reported he waited for some time before the weather improved enough for him to depart VFR. As he neared Chanute, he canceled flight following and listened to the ATIS, which reported a 200-foot ceiling with mist. He made a low pass over the airport but was unable to see the runway. He then flew to Iola, Kan., but found the weather the same there. He then returned to Chanute and made a couple of low passes, but still could not see the runway. He then recalled that during the trip he had been able to see the rotating beacon at Coffeyville, so he decided to fly there. He became confused and was flying east when he thought he was flying south. The declared an emergency on 121.5 and a controller at Kansas City Center vectored him back to Chanute. On the way, the airplane ran out of fuel.