At 1708:48 while cruising at 6000' the Captain of N711Y advised ATC, I
think I'd like to turn around, head for Texarkana here, I've got a little
problem! He was provided a vector and advised of the closest airports.
Shortly after, he stated he would be unable to reach the airports. At 1711:49
he said there was smoke in the cockpit. While landing in a field at 1714,
the aircraft hit wires and a pole then continued into trees where it was
extensively damaged by impact and fire. The crew egressed through the cockpit
windows. The passengers did not escape. During flight, the crew was unable
to start the cabin heater despite repeated attempts by the Captain. Smoke
then entered the cabin. Fresh air vents and cockpit windows were opened,
but smoke became dense. The crew had difficulty seeing. The oxygen system
and hand held fire extinguishers were not used. Fasteners for the heater
door were found unfastened. Examination indicated the fire originated in
the aft cabin area, right hand side, at or near the floor line. The ignition
and fuel sources were believed to have been that of a faulty Janitrol Heater.