Photo: MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images
The National Air Race Championship in Reno, Nevada, experienced a tragic day, after two pilots died this Sunday when their planes collided while landing.according to race organizers.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the incident occurred around 2:45 p.m. local time on Sunday. Only the pilots were on board their planes. One of the aircraft was a single-engine North American T-6G and the other a single-engine North American AT-6B.
The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) said the incident occurred at the end of the T-6 Gold race. Furthermore, after notifying the next of kin, the association identified the pilots as Nick Macy and Chris Rushing.
Meanwhile, racing was suspended when first responders and investigators arrived at the crash site at Reno Stead Airport.
The T-6 racing class pits propeller-driven North American Aviation T-6 Texan aircraft, which first flew as training aircraft in the antebellum era, in competitions of speed and agility.
The annual races began Wednesday and were scheduled to conclude Sunday.
This accident joined other tragedies in the same context. For example, In September 2022, a jet-powered Aero L-29 Delfin competing in a final crashed behind a residential area in Reno, killing the pilot.
In 2011, several spectators were killed when a 1940s model airplane crashed into a crowded runway at the event.. Nine people, including at least seven on the ground and the pilot, died.
“Safety is RARA’s top concern and we work all year to organize the safest event possible,” the association said in its Facebook post. “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.”