With increasing darkness and low visibilities, it wasn't long before the pilot began to realize that he was in big trouble.
The aircraft began to feel sluggish and a quick check with a flashlight revealed ice on the windshield. What the pilot could not see was the ice already on the wings and airframe. The pilot desperately radioed controllers in Las Vegas that his plane was icing up.
After a series of sudden uncontrolled pitch and rolls, the pilot lost control of the Piper.
At 6:38 PM, the Cherokee disappeared off the Las Vegas Controller's radar screens.