Plane Race Ends in Double Tragedy

2 pilots killed in Reno, Nevada in collision upon landing; NTSB, FAA among those investigating
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 18, 2023 9:11 AM CDT

Two pilots were killed when their planes crashed upon landing at an air racing event Sunday in Reno, authorities said. Officials with the Reno Air Racing Association said the planes collided at the conclusion of the T-6 Gold race around 2:15pm Sunday, per the AP. The pilots have been identified as Nick Macy and Chris Rushing, reports KTLA, which notes "both men were said to be expertly skilled and decorated pilots." "Families of both pilots have been notified and support services are onsite as they deal with this tragedy," RARA said in a statement. All other races for the day were canceled after the accident.

"I am completely devastated and heartbroken today," said Fred Telling, chairman of the racing association and president of the T-6 Class, of the crash, which occurred during the final day of the National Championship Air Races in Reno. "These two pilots weren't just an integral part of the [NCAR] family, they were a part of my family." Authorities said there were no other reported injuries. Officials said they're cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, and local authorities to identify the cause of the accident.

The NTSB says the two planes involved were a North American AT-6B and a North American T-6G, per CNN. Rushing, of California, had placed first in the race they'd just finished, while Macy, also of California, had come in second, reports the Reno Gazette Journal. "We know it could happen to any one of us," Telling said. "As pilots we assume it won't happen to us, but we know it could." (More plane crash stories.)

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