The airplane collided with the water at about 1108 Central time. Visual conditions prevailed for the IFR flight from Louisiana to Florida. The solo private pilot was fatally injured and the airplane received substantial damage.
Approximately 20 minutes after levelling at FL 270, the airplane began to deviate from its altitude and route. Military fighter aircraft intercepted the airplane and reported the airplane was circling in a left-hand turn and the windows were partially frosted over. In addition, they reported that the pilot was slumped over in the cockpit and not moving. They fired flares and the pilot was still unresponsive. The airplane circled for approximately three hours before it descended into the Gulf of Mexico. Upon impact, the airplane immediately filled with water and sank.