UPDATE: NTSB Reviewing Camera, GPS and Log Books from Plane Following Crash

By: Associated Press, WSAW Staff Email
By: Associated Press, WSAW Staff Email
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UPDATE: Tues 3:24 PM, June 3, 2014

It could be another week before we know the cause of plane crash that killed a pilot at a Stevens Point airshow. William Cowden, 47, of Menomonie was killed when his plane crashed in a wooded area during an aerial maneuver.

A spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board says GPS, a Go-Pro camera and log books will be reviewed. Some of the log books were written in Russian, which could take a little longer to analyze. That evidence will be sent to Washington, D.C.

The NTSB also conducted interviews with witnesses and obtained four videos of the incident.

The wreckage is being preserved in a private hanger during ht investigation.

The NTSB is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the U.S. and significant accidents in other modes of transportation-railroad, highway, marine and pipeline.

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UPDATE: Mon 10:13 AM, June 2, 2014

The Stevens Point Police has identified the pilot killed in a weekend airshow as William M. Cowden, 47, of Menomonie, Wis.

Police say Cowden was the owner and sole pilot of the plane.

The Stevens Point Police Department released the scene to FFA (Federal Aviation Administration) officials early this morning to conduct their investigation.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. No other details are available at this time.

Police say the Green Circle Trail, which runs near the crash site, will be open this morning.

A Fargo radio station reports Cowden was a volunteer at the Fargo Air Museum. Dick Walstad was a friend of Cowden's and co-chair of the Fargo Airsho.

Click the links below to hear his reaction and how he remember his friend.

Friend Reacts

Friend Reacts

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UPDATE: Mon 9:25 AM, June 2, 2014

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) -- Police say a small plane crashed at an air show in central Wisconsin, killing the 47-year-old pilot.

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.

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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UPDATE: June 1st, 2014 5:00 PM

A performer in the Steven Point Air Show is dead after his plane crashed while performing an aerial maneuver at the show this afternoon.

One witness tells us the pilot was making what appeared to be a question mark in smoke trails when it sounded like the engine failed.

"The single plane was performing aerial maneuvers when it went down in a wooded area approximately 1,000 feet east of the airport runway. The 47-year was pronounced dead at the scene," Sgt. Tony Babl of the Stevens Point Police Department said during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

The male pilot was the only one in the Yak 55M at the time of the crash. He is believed to be from Wisconsin.

Police say at this point they do not know what caused the plane to crash. The investigation will be lead by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The air show has been cancelled. The airport was temporarily closed, but re-opened at 4:00 PM.
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UPDATE: June 1st, 2014 2:25 PM

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) -- A plane has crashed at the Stevens Point Airshow, and officials have closed the airport and dismissed the crowds.

The crash happened Sunday afternoon at the Stevens Point Municipal Airport. There was no immediate word on the extent of any casualties.

The plane was performing an aerial trick when it went down behind a row of trees.

The investigation will be led by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

The events scheduled for the airshow included aerobatic performances and World War II aircraft displays.
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NewsChannel 7 is getting reports of a plane crash at the Steven Point Air Show.

A witness tells NewsChannel 7 the crash happened shortly after noon Sunday. He said the pilot was flying when all of the sudden the plane went straight down into the woods.

Nothing is being confirmed yet, but people on scene are saying a number of agencies appear to be responding, including a medical helicopter.

We have no word yet on the condition of the pilot. We are hearing the air show has been cancelled.

NewsChannel 7 has a crew on the way to the scene. We will bring you more details as soon as they become available.


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