A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report indicates a fatal just outside Cartersville involved no obvious mechanical malfunctions and the pilot issued no known distress calls.
The experimental, amateur-built plane, piloted by Brian Soper, 70, of Hammond, NY, according to Rome News-Tribune, departed from Mount Sterling, KY, destined for Weedon Field Airport in Eufaula, AL, according to the NTSB report.
Nine minutes before the crash, Soper contacted air control, then gradually climbed to about 7,100 feet in altitude and lost radar contact.
A witness who lives near the Taylorsville cow pasture in which the plane crashed, leaving a 6-feet-long and 7-feet-wide crater, said she heard a very loud engine noise.
"She looked at the window and saw an airplane 'nose diving toward the ground, very fast and very steep,'" the report says. "The airplane was almost straight nose down and was not spinning. The airplane struck the ground and debris scattered. She did not observe any smoke or fire before or after the impact."
Weather at the time of the crash was sunny and clear. Maintenance records indicate the plane had been inspected in January.
Authorities recovered two global-positioning systems, which were taken to a Washington D.C. lab for further examination and data download.