What was meant to be a thrilling and fun day for everyone who came out to the Stevens Point Air Show ended in a fatal tragedy.
William Cowden, of Menomonie, Wisconsin was performing aerial stunts for the enthusiastic crowd at the Stevens Point Municipal Airport on Sunday.
Things were going well until suddenly the small plane went into a dive. It eventually crashed in a wooded area near the air show.
The incident occurred at about around 12:20 pm.
Law enforcement and medical officials rushed to where the 47-year-old’s plane had gone down, about 1000 feet away from the airport runway.
Sadly, the pilot was declared dead at the scene.
There is footage of the shocking incident.
In the video clip, you can see Cowden go into a dive, his aircraft spiraling and it shoots toward the Earth.
There appears to be puffs of smoke escaping from the aircraft.
When the plane levels off a bit, it seems as if the pilot always had or had regained control of the plane.
A few seconds later, the plane goes down in the woods.
Following the horrible incident, the Stevens Point Air Show was immediately canceled and the troubled audience went home.
— StevensPoint Journal (@StevensPointJrl) June 2, 2014
Despite the existence of video footage of the incident, it’s unclear exactly what went wrong for Cowden’s plane.
At least one eye witness describes smoke pouring from the aircraft, a sight that is confirmed in the video of the crash.
Local police officials have stated that the crash and Cowden’s death are currently the subject of an ongoing federal investigation.
— WTOP (@WTOP) June 2, 2014
Prior to his participation in the air show, Cowden spoke with a reporter from the Steven Point Journal.
It was clear that he was an experienced pilot due to his time in the Air Force and work for Delta Air Lines. He was happy to take part in events like the Stevens Point Air Show because it reminded him of how much he enjoyed flying F-16s.
Image via YouTube