At approximately 2118 local time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.
A review of preliminary radar data revealed the airplane landed around 2030. At 2117:45, three radar returns emitting a VFR beacon code were observed about four miles east of the airport at an altitude of 7900 feet msl. The radar returns indicated the target was heading east, then southeast before the data ended at 2118:15. The wreckage was fragmented along an open, treeless pasture on private property at an approximate elevation of 6900 feet. The wreckage was scattered along a path approximately 800 feet long by 250 feet wide, and oriented on a magnetic heading of 236 degrees. Observed weather at the departure airport, with a field elevation of 6877 feet msl, included visibility of 10 miles, light rain, a broken cloud layer at 4500 feet agl and an overcast at 5000 feet agl.