A preliminary report has been issued about the June 1st fatal airplane crash at the Stevens Point Airport. Menomonie pilot Bill Cowden died while performing aerial maneuvers with his Yakovlev YAK-55M aircraft. National Transportation Safety Board investigators say their early findings show the plane did not have any mechanical problems and they believe the engine was running when it rotated more than three times and flew straight down into the ground, killing Cowden.
Investigators are not done with their work. They also have a hand-held GPS unit and a GoPro video camera that were operational during the flight. They plan to study the video and data along with the information recovered from the wreckage.
Cowden was a former military fighter jet and commercial airline pilot. His funeral was last week. He was buried with military honors at the Veterans Cemetery near Spooner.