During the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada on Sunday, a tragic mid-air collision claimed the lives of two pilots.
The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) reported that the incident occurred around 2:15 p.m. as the planes were landing at the end of the T-6 Gold race.
As per the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the collision involved only the pilots of the two planes.
The FAA specified that one pilot was operating a single-engine North American T-6G, while the other was piloting a single-engine North American AT-6B.
The pilots involved were identified by RARA as Nick Macy and Chris Rushing.
Reno Air Racing Association issued the following statement:
The Reno Air Racing Association is heartbroken to announce that around 2:15 p.m. this afternoon, two members of our racing family, Nick Macy and Chris Rushing, passed away in a landing accident. Both expertly skilled pilots and Gold winners in the T-6 Class, Macy piloted Six-Cat and Rushing flew Baron’s Revenge. Families of both pilots have been notified and support services are onsite as they deal with this tragedy. There were no civilian casualties and RARA is doing everything we can to support the families and friends of the involved pilots. After conversations with the families and with the race classes, we have made the decision to cancel the remainder of the races.
Safety is the foremost concern of RARA and we work year-round to host the safest event possible. 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 National Transportation Safety Board, in conjunction with the FAA, will lead the investigation.
RARA has announced the suspension of the air races.
It’s noteworthy that this year marked the concluding edition of the National Championship Air Races in Reno.