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Two killed in mid-air crash during Reno air race

Updated September 17, 2023 - 5:03 pm

Officials reported that two pilots died in a mid-air plane crash Sunday afternoon during a Reno air race.

Nick Macy and Chris Rushing were identified Sunday afternoon by the Reno Air Racing Association as the pilots who died.

“I am completely devastated and heartbroken today,” said Fred Telling, Chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association and President of the T-6 Class, in a statement. “These two pilots weren’t just an integral part of the National Championship Air Race family, they were a part of my family.”

At around 2 p.m., a single-engine North American T-6G and a single-engine North American AT-6B collided in the air during the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport, according to officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

“The wreckage of each plane came to rest one-half mile from each other. Two NTSB investigators are on site now conducting the on-scene portion of the investigation,” NTSB spokesperson Sarah Sulick said in an email. “They anticipate that wreckage will be recovered to an off-site facility for further analysis by the end of the day.”

Mina Kaji, an FAA spokesperson, said only one pilot was on board each aircraft.

The Reno Air Racing Association confirmed the fatal crash on social media and said the collision occurred while two planes were landing at the conclusion of a race.

All racing was suspended, according to the association.

“As we always do, we are cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board, the FAA and all local authorities to identify the cause of the accident and ensure that all of our pilots, spectators and volunteers have the necessary support during this time,” the association posted on social media.

There were no other injuries related to the crash.

Last year during the National Championship Air Races, Henderson businessman Aaron Hogue, 61, was killed during the Jet Gold Race.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on X.