- The pilot lost control of the two-seater and crashed into a wooded area
- No one on the ground was injured
The pilot lost control of the two-seater and crashed into a wooded area near Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, about 70 miles north of New York City.
He appeared to be climbing when something happened to the back of his Giles G202 aircraft, and it went into a "steep dive," said Capt. Brendan Casey with New York State Police.
No one on the ground was injured because the aircraft crashed in a forested area far from people or buildings. However, some people saw it happen, including at least one who shared video with authorities.
Authorities did not immediately know what caused the pilot to lose control.
Casey speculated it was due to "a structural failure," but left the final analysis to the National Transportation Safety Board investigators.
"I just think this was a tragic accident where it was some type of equipment failure ... that led to this," said Casey, who is the state police incident commander for the air show.
Despite the fatal accident, Casey said the air show would go on as scheduled.
The two-day event is set to feature numerous aircraft, including the U.S. military's F-22 Raptor, F/A18E Super Hornet, AV-8B Harrier, and a jump by the parachute team from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
The pilot involved in Friday's crash was practicing for the show.