Stunt plane crashes at New York Air Show practice

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Ben Granucci |

The pilot of a small propeller plane that crashed at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, New York, Friday has died, a police official said. The crash happened a day before the start of the New York Air Show. Witnesses reported that the single-engine Giles G-202 plane appeared to lose its tail before the crash. The plane crashed just off airport grounds to the southwest.

New York State Police said the pilot of the stunt plane was practicing moves for the Air Show when the plane went down. "The GILES 202 aircraft appeared to have experienced an apparent structural failure," police said in a statement. "The plane entered into a steep dive and landed in a wooded area on Town of New Windsor property (behind the crowd line)." [PHOTOS: PLANE CRASH]



"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased pilot," police said in the statement. Police said the rest of Friday's activities were canceled.

State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board are conducting a joint investigation into the crash. Police said the New York Air National Guard, which has a base at the airport, "responded immediately to the scene."

The New York Air Show is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Stewart Airport, which is home to commercial and military aviation. Police said the show will go on as scheduled. The show's website says that among the main events will be demonstrations by an F-22 Raptor, an F/A-18 Super Hornet, and an AV-8B Harrier.