2 Pilots Killed At National Championship Air Races

Photo of two airplanes flying together at the event.

Aviation Accidents: "This Day in History" / Facebook

Very sad news is spreading after two pilots were killed on Sunday, September 17, after colliding while trying to land at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.

The Reno Air Racing Association said the two pilots involved in the crash were Chris Rushing and Nick Macy. The chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association and president of the T-6 Class, Fred Telling, released a public statement about the incident.

“I am completely devastated and heartbroken today,” Telling said, according to Yahoo. “These two pilots weren’t just an integral part of the National Championship Air Race family, they were a part of my family. My heart goes out to their own families and to all of the spectators and fans who have so enthusiastically supported us this week.”

Photo of the crash aftermath.
Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District / Facebook

Officials released more details and statements on the collision.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, both pilots were in their aircraft when the collision happened around 2:45pm PST. One of the airmen was flying a single-engine North American AT-6B while the other was piloting a single-engine North American T-6 G.

The Reno Air Racing Association gave an updated statement on Facebook letting the public know that nobody other than the two pilots was injured during the incident. They expressed their sorrow for what took place and made it clear that safety is their biggest concern for the pilots and visitors watching the event.

“Safety is the foremost concern of RARA and we work year-round to host the safest event possible,” the association said on Facebook. “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.”

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An investigation has been launched by The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board which will be looking further into what happened to figure out if they can find some closure for the families involved and figure out how to make things safer moving forward. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims. More on the story in the video below.