One unanswerable question is what the pilot could see. At Howell, about 12 miles north-northeast of 69G, the sky was clear, with wind out of the northwest at nine knots, gusting to 14; but it is still possible that there were clouds in the pilot's vicinity and that they limited his view of the ground. The NTSB does not mention clouds, nor does it comment upon the pilot's decision to turn north rather than to seek an emergency landing place in his immediate vicinity; instead, it seems to accept the initial decision to head for 69G, but then to fault the pilot for not opting for an open field along the way instead. In fact, there were some fields along the way, but by the time the pilot was low enough to begin to suspect that he might not make the airport, he was over hilly, wooded terrain with no very promising fields in reach. The best places for an off-airport landing were, in fact, back where the power loss first occurred. In other words, to the extent that one can pinpoint a single fatal error in the pilot's decision-making, it was the original decision to make for the nearest airport.