In a devastating turn of events, two pilots lost their lives on Sunday during an air racing event in Reno, Nevada. The Reno Air Racing Association confirmed that the fatal crash took place as the planes were landing.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:15 p.m. local time, shortly after the T-6 Gold Race at the National Championship Air Races. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the planes collided mid-air, causing wreckage to be scattered about half a mile apart, as reported by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The pilots have been identified as Nick Macy and Chris Rushing, both highly skilled aviators and Gold winners in the T-6 Class, according to the air racing association. The T-6 is a single-engine propeller plane commonly used for training purposes by the U.S. Air Force and Navy.
Fortunately, no other individuals were on board the planes at the time of the crash, and there have been no reports of additional casualties or injuries. However, due to the tragic incident, the remaining races scheduled for the event were canceled.
Expressing his grief, Fred Telling, chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association and president of the T-6 class, released a statement saying, “I am completely devastated and heartbroken today. These two pilots weren’t just an integral part of the National Championship Air Race family, they were a part of my family. My heart goes out to their own families and to all of the spectators and fans who have so enthusiastically supported us this week.”
This unfortunate accident serves as a somber reminder of the risks involved in air racing and the importance of safety measures to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.