At 1208:05, the pilot told the tower that he was going missed approach and then requested if he could circle to land.
When the airplane was near the runway's end, the witnesses observed the landing gear retract and the airplane begin a slow climb into the clouds. The witnesses estimated the overcast ceiling to be at 500 ft. AGL and the visibility to be 2.5 mi.
Topeka tower directed the pilot to fly runway heading and told him that they would get with center for climb-out instructions.
The pilot then said he could do the GPS approach for Runway 36. The tower controller instructed the pilot to execute the published missed approach and climb and maintain 4,000 ft. The pilot acknowledged and read back the instructions. The tower controller called center and informed them of the pilot's intentions.
At 1209:15, Topeka tower instructed the pilot to contact Kansas City Center. The pilot replied with reading back the frequency.
At 1209:22, he contacted center and informed them he was on the missed approach.
The center controller instructed the pilot to climb to 3,000 ft., then make a right turn and fly direct to the WUPLA intersection for the GPS approach to Runway 31.
At 1211:32, the center controller told the pilot to maintain 3,600 ft. until established on the approach and that he was cleared for the GPS approach to Runway 31.
The pilot acknowledged and read back the altitude. That was the last transmission received from the airplane. The controller then said, “and November zero echo alpha, when you . . . executed the back course [you] were just too high to . . . execute the . . . correction to . . . land.”
Later, radar data showed the airplane had been over the airport at 1208:48 at an altitude of 1,500 ft. MSL. (Airport elevation is 1,078 ft.) The data showed the airplane make a turn to the east and then southeast leveling off at 3,400 ft. MSL. The Baron then made a left 180-deg. turn back toward the west. At 1211:48, the airplane suddenly disappeared from radar.