2 pilots killed after planes collide at Nevada Airshow  

 Tuesday, September 19, 2023 


The tragedy struck at the Reno airshow in Nevada when two air-racing pilots lost their lives in a devastating mid-air collision followed by a crash.

The incident occurred after the T-6 Gold Race during the national championship air races. The pilots involved in the tragic accident were identified as Chris Rushing, who flew out of Van Nuys in Los Angeles, and Nick Macy of Tulelake, California.

The Reno air racing association described the incident as a “landing accident,” and it unfolded on the final day of the air races. Shock and grief rippled through the aviation community, with association chairman Fred Telling expressing his devastation and heartbreak over the loss.

Telling emphasized that the collision was not a racing accident but rather a post-race landing accident, leaving many questions about how this tragic event occurred. The national transportation safety board (NTSB), the federal aviation administration (FAA), and local authorities have launched investigations to determine the cause of the collision.

Tragically, this incident adds to a somber history of accidents at the Reno air races, with at least 23 pilots having lost their lives since 1972. The most notable of these was the 2011 crash when pilot Jimmy Leeward’s heavily modified World War II-era aircraft lost control and crashed into a stand, resulting in the loss of his life and the lives of 10 spectators.

As the aviation community mourns the loss of these two skilled pilots, there is a somber reminder of the inherent risks and challenges involved in air racing and aerobatic displays. Safety measures and meticulous planning remain paramount in an effort to prevent such tragic accidents and protect both pilots and spectators at airshows and races.

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