One witness reported that he, "observed an aircraft emerge from the overcast layer on a northwesterly heading with a nose down pitch of approximately 60 degrees, pointed directly at my location with no discernable movement. It remained in that attitude for approximately 4 to 5 seconds before initiating a high-speed dive recovery. Approaching the bottom of the recovery the aircraft began to roll to its right. As it did, the left horizontal stabilizer departed the aircraft, immediately followed by the remainder of the empennage. The left wing then appeared to shear off just outside of the number one (left) engine igniting the left wing. The aircraft disappeared behind a hill to the northeast of the observed location, trailing flames behind it. The sound of an explosion and large plume of black smoke immediately followed."