EDINBURG, N.Y. -- On Monday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration is expected at the scene of a plane crash that killed a New York State Police investigator in Saratoga County on Sunday.
Authorities have identified the pilot as a senior investigator with State Police, 55-year old Timothy Cowper of Middle Grove. He was off-duty at the time of the accident.
State Police say that Cowper's plane went down near Tange Road in the town of Edinburg around 3:50 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
According to State Police Troop Commander Steven James says witnesses saw the single-engine plane experience difficulty and crash-land in a wooded lot before bursting into flames. Police say Cowper was flying a one-seater Pitts Special S-1E, which is a type of aerobatic aircraft.
Officials say Cowper was departing from the Plateau Sky Ranch Airport in Edinburg, heading back to the Perth area when the plane went down. The initial investigation reveals the plane may have experienced some mechanical difficulty.
Cowper was an experienced pilot and a 30-year veteran of the New York State Police who held the rank of Senior Investigator and was assigned to Division Headquarters in Albany.
Those who knew Cowper say he had a passion for flying and they can take some solace knowing he died doing something he enjoyed so much.
According to NEWS10 ABC archives, this was not Cowper's first crash. On November 2, 2008 he radioed in engine trouble shortly after his plane took off from the same airport. In that incident, Cowper flipped his plane trying to set down near Barkerville and Southline Roads and was able to walk away from the crash.
"He began his career with the State Police in 1983 where he spent most of his career assigned to Troop G in the Capital Region. He also worked in Troop D in the Oneida area and in New York City. Senior Investigator Cowper was assigned to Division Headquarters in 2004 and was promoted to the rank of Senior Investigator in 2006," State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico said in a statement Monday.
"The thoughts and prayers of the entire New York State Police family go out to Senior Investigator Cowper's loved ones during this difficult time.
Senior Investigator Cowper is survived by his wife, Chris; his daughters, Ryan and Jade, and his son, Zachary. He leaves behind his father, Thomas Cowper; and three brothers, New York State Police Staff Inspector Thomas J. Cowper, retired New York State Police Trooper Tod Cowper and retired Schenectady Police Detective Terry Cowper."
Edinburg is in the northern part of Saratoga County, near the Great Sacandaga Lake, and borders Fulton County.
State Police, Saratoga County Sheriff's Department, Edinburgh Fire Department and EMS responded to the scene.
On Tuesday, the FAA and NTSB cleared the site of the crash and reopened the road.
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