At about 11:45 EDT, a Mooney M20J on an IFR flight plan struck terrain in Norton, killing the pilot and four passengers. The airplane was cruising at 9,000 feet when the pilot reported he was riding in the tops of the clouds and requested a climb to 11,000 feet. He was cleared to climb to 11,000 and given a frequency change. He reported in on the new frequency at 9,000 feet and was asked if he was going to climb to 11,000. He replied, Roger. No further communications were made and radar contact was lost four minutes later. Wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction or fuel exhaustion.