To the shock of horrified spectators, two pilots died after their planes crashed into each other during landing at the National Championship Air Races in Reno.
Nick Macy and Chris Rushing were confirmed dead by the Reno Air Racing Association and were considered “experienced pilots and gold winners in the T-6 class.”
According to the official 2023 NCAR race schedule, the T-6 Class Gold race began at 1:45 p.m. and was scheduled to end at 2:15 p.m. when the two pilots collided at the end of the race.
Macy reportedly flew the Six-Cat plane from Tulelake, California, while Rushing flew the Baron’s Revenge from Van Nuys, California. Rushing won Sunday’s race and was the defending champion.
No other injuries were reported and the cause of the incident is under investigation.
Nick Macy (left) and Chris Rushing (right) were killed after colliding during the final Reno Air Race on Sunday
The RARA broadcast a live stream throughout the day, but according to its Facebook page, the footage was taken down as comments came in reporting the crash in real time
According to the official 2023 NCAR race schedule, the T-6 Class Gold race began at 1:45 p.m. and was scheduled to end at 2:15 p.m. when the two pilots collided at the end of the race
“Safety is RARA’s top concern and we work year-round to host the event as safely as possible,” the Reno Air Racing Association said in a statement.
“As always, we are working with the National Transportation Safety Board, the FAA and all local authorities to determine the cause of the accident and ensure that all of our pilots, spectators and volunteers receive the necessary support during this time,” the agency said
The association added that after the fatal crash it decided to cancel the remaining races and was working to contact the pilot’s families.
The RARA broadcast a livestream throughout the day, but according to its Facebook page, the footage was taken down as comments came in reporting the crash in real time.
The Reno Air Races, officially known as the National Championship Air Races, is a multi-day event for the aviation industry held in September.
For the past six decades, the races have been held in Reno, Nevada, but this was the last year at that location.
A letter posted on RARA’s website in March said: “Although we knew this day was coming, we had hoped it would not come so soon,” citing the region’s significant growth and other concerns, the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority has decided to cancel the event.”
Macy and Rushing were confirmed dead by the Reno Air Racing Association and were considered “experienced pilots and gold winners in the T-6 class.”
Fred Telling, chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association and president of the T-6 class, said KTVN: “I am completely devastated and heartbroken today.” These two pilots were not only an integral part of the National Championship Air Race family, they were also a part of my family. “My condolences go out to their own families and to all the spectators and fans who have supported us so enthusiastically this week.”
T6 aircraft are typically used by the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The aircraft itself is a single-engine, two-seat aircraft
Macy helped run a family aviation business called “ Macy’s Flying Servicefirst founded in 1965 in Tulelake, California.
“Macy’s Flying Service is honored to take to the air and hit the ground for the farmers and ranchers of the Klamath Basin and beyond.” “We are proud to serve the community we call home” , says the company’s website.
Rushing won 2022 Reno Championships with a racing speed of 240.213 mph.
He also won the race on Sunday.
In 2014, ABC7 Rushing reported he was also known for training younger pilots in the AT-6 plans and continually honored the men and women who risked their lives for their country.
T6 aircraft are typically used by the US Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
The aircraft itself is a single-engine, two-seat aircraft.