The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a snow covered field at about 1820 Central time. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.
While en route, the pilot was in contact with his wife and brother via cellphone and reported being over the Quad Cities area around 1510. The pilot later contacted his brother asking if the landing strip at the farm where they kept the airplane had been plowed. The pilot’s brother responded that it was plowed and the pilot responded “okay” at 1805. That was the last communication with the flight.
A witness heard the airplane prior to the accident. He reported hearing a loud “pop” which he stated sounded like an engine backfiring followed by the sound of the impact. The airplane initially impacted terrain in an open field and came to rest in a wooded area more than 300 feet away. Weather observed 27 miles south of the accident site included wind 100 degrees at five knots, visibility 10 miles and clear sky conditions.