STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -
The Stevens Point Police Department say a male pilot has died in a plane crash at the Stevens Point Airshow Sunday.
Police say the crash happened just before 12:30 p.m. Sunday. They say the plane was performing tricks when it went down in a wooded area near the airport runway. Officers say a 47-year-old pilot was killed in that crash. He was flying a 1993 YAK-55M. They say he was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a scheduled performer for this year's show, police say.
According to a press release sent out prior to the show, the manager of the Stevens Point Municipal Airport said he expected 7,000 people to attend. Hundreds of spectators witnessed the tragic plane crash.
"Oh I couldn't believe what I'm seeing there the last couple of seconds, he just didn't pull out, just a puff of smoke went to hit the ground and that was it," said Melvin Burskey of Neenah, who witnessed the crash.
"He was doing his routine and it looked like he was coming straight down, he's right beyond that tower out in the field," said another witness of the crash, Steve Marquardt of Stevens Point. "And everybody's saying 'he's got to pull out, he's got to pull out' but he just never did."
Our Newsline 9 reporter was on the scene at the time of the crash.
After the crash, organizers canceled the rest of the show and asked crowds to leave. An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.