Aerobatic Pilot Bill Cowden Killed in Crash at Stevens Point Airshow in WI

A plane has crashed at the Stevens Point Airshow in Stevens Point, WI today. It was reportedly performing aerobatics when it went down into a wooded area near the airport. The airshow and airport was shut down after the incident, and attendees were sent home. Bad weather was in the area, but whether it played a role in the crash is unknown.

Local police held a new conference at 3:30 CST time and announced that the pilot involved, whom we have learned to be Bill Cowden, was killed in the crash. Bill flew F-16 fighter jets in the USAF before retiring in 2006. He was performing in his Yak-55M, a Russian single seat aerobatic aircraft that entered production in 1990.

Bill was interviewed following the 2013 Dayton Airshow crash that killed pilot Charlie Schwenker and wingwalker Jane Wicker. “It is inherently dangerous, and there is a higher level of risk associated with it, and that’s why people come to see it,” he was quoted as saying. Tragically, this statement proved to be prophetic.

– Ryan Sundheimer

2 comments to Aerobatic Pilot Bill Cowden Killed in Crash at Stevens Point Airshow in WI

  • Bill was our hometown hero.

    Mr. Cowden was an extremely nice man. A true gentleman, very personable, and open to anyone and everyone who wanted to talk about flying. He’d invite anyone over to his hanger just to hang out. He was especially kind to children and a real inspiration to all. He will be missed. Prayers to his lovely family.

  • Bill was a good friend and fellow pilot. He took a beautiful air to air photo of my father flying his Stinson .. which is now engraved on my father’s grave. Bill was not only a great pilot..he was a wonderful father to Gunnar and husband to Heather. We had so much fun when they lived her in Fargo…those times will live on in our hearts….Bill always made us laugh…he was one of a kind!!

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