Local News

Actions

Two pilots killed in crash at National Championship Air Races in Reno

Two pilots killed in crash at National Championship Air Races in Reno
Crash at the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport Sunday afternoon 3.png
Crash at the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport Sunday afternoon 4.png
Crash at the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport Sunday afternoon 2.png
Crash at the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport Sunday afternoon 1.png
Posted at 6:04 PM, Sep 17, 2023

RENO, Nev. (KTNV) — Two pilots have been killed in a crash at the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport Sunday afternoon, KTNV's sister station, KOLO reports.

Officials have been on scene near Osage Road and Blackhawk Drive.

The Reno Air Racing Association told KOLO that at around 2:15 p.m. at the conclusion of the T-6 Gold race, upon landing, two planes collided. Both pilots were killed in the crash.

The Air Racing Association says that Nick Macy and Chris Rushing were killed in a landing accident, adding that both were expertly skilled pilots and Gold winners in the T-6 Class.

KOLO reports that no one else was hurt.

"Right as I looked up within two seconds, the planes collided," a witness told KOLO. "We saw so much stuff falling from the sky. We screamed to other campers, 'heads up!'"

According to the Reno Air Races website, this year was the last National Championship Air Races at the Reno-Stead Airport. The website says the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority cited the region's significant growth "amongst other concerns" to sunset the event after nearly 60 years.

However, the announcement posted on March 9 says officials are confident that the event will continue.

Officials for the Air Races released the following statement regarding the crash Monday.

"Nick Macy and Chris Rushing passed after the T-6 Gold race had ended. Both individuals were longtime participants and staunch supporters of the event and we are heartbroken over this loss.

While the incident happened just outside of the race course, it did not involve any civilians or residential buildings ... We do know that this was not related to racing and happened in the course of landing. Though the families of both pilots wanted us to continue racing and the FAA and NTSB had cleared us to continue, we made the decision to cancel the rest of the event out of an abundance of caution and respect for all of our racers and families.

There are inherent risks with any motorsport. We work diligently year-round to mitigate these risks and safety is our foremost priority. Despite the sad way we have ended our storied tenure in northern Nevada, we want to express our appreciation to the countless fans and volunteers who have supported the event over the years. With the encouragement of our pilots, volunteers and entire air race family and the encouragement of these two pilots' families, we will continue to work to identify a new location for the National Championship Air Races and hope to make that announcement in early 2024."
National Championship Air Races And Air Show