At about 2015 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain shortly after taking off. The private pilot was fatally injured. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed; no flight plan had been filed.
A pilot-rated witness reported the airplane landed after sunset, at about 1830, and taxied to the fuel pump. Shortly before the airplane departed, the witness noted fog was beginning to roll onto the airport. The witness later heard the airplane start up, taxi and take off. The witness heard the engine operating “normally.” It was only later, after hearing sirens, that he realized that the airplane had crashed.