N.Y. state police investigator dies in biplane crash

Sept. 30, 2013 at 12:13 AM

EDINBURG, N.Y., Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A senior investigator with the New York State Police died Sunday when the biplane he was piloting crashed in a wooded area near Edinburg, authorities said.

Timothy J. Cowper, 55, of Middle Grove had flown his single-seat, aerobatic Pitts S-1 less than a mile after taking off from the Plateau Sky Ranch airport shortly before 4 p.m. EDT when the plane crashed and burned, The (Schenectady, N.Y.) Daily Gazette reported.

State police Maj. Steven James said Cowper, an experienced pilot, had flown from an airport in Perth to Sky Ranch earlier in the day and had taken off for the flight home when he crashed.

"Witness described some sort of mechanical failure," James said, "but we can not confirm that until the [Federal Aviation Administration] investigation."

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