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Pilot, 47, Dies in Crash at Air Show


...a puff of smoke and then the plane went down.

Image source: WSAW-TV

UPDATE: The pilot who died in the air show crash was Bill Cowden of Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA Today reported, citing Stevens Point Police.

More from USA Today:

Cowden had been flying a 1993 YAK-55M Russian-made aerobatics plane. Officials said they don't yet know what caused the crash.

Cowden flew F-16s in the the U.S. Air Force and later became a commercial pilot for Delta Air Lines. Cowden, who had been a pilot for 25 years, flew aerobatic planes because it rekindled the thrill he got from flying F-16s — one of the world's fastest jets — he said at Sunday's air show.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (TheBlaze/AP) — A small plane crashed at an air show in central Wisconsin, killing the 47-year-old pilot, police said.

The crash happened about 12:20 p.m. Sunday at the Stevens Point Municipal Airport. Police say the plane was performing aerial maneuvers when it went down in a wooded area about 1,000 feet east of the airport runway.

Image source: WSAW-TV Image source: WSAW-TV

The pilot's name hasn't been released.

Police ended the show and secured the scene. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation.

Melvin Burskey of Neenah was at the show. He tells Stevens Point Journal Media he couldn't believe what he saw. He says there was a puff of smoke and then the plane went down.

The air show lineup was to include aerobatic performances and World War II aircraft displays.

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