NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that, during cruise flight, the air traffic controller instructed him to descend from 9,000 to 4,000 ft. While performing the descent checklist, the pilot switched fuel tanks, and the engine subsequently lost power. The pilot further reported that he was certain that the engine restarted and that the event put him “behind the airplane in performing…cockpit duties." The next thing the pilot remembered was the controller informing him that he was flying in circles and losing altitude. The pilot thought the airplane was in a spin and tried to regain control. After the airplane broke out of the clouds into poor visibility and snow, the pilot chose to land in a cornfield. During the landing, the airplane impacted trees and terrain. A witness reported observing the airplane at a low altitude traveling at a high rate of speed, then it pitched up to almost vertical flight, descended, and impacted terrain. No preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were noted with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.