This article was originally published on KITPLANES.com.
The final National Air Races at Reno, Nevada are on hold following a two-airplane accident.
Reno Air Racing Association released a statement (see below) saying the pilots of the two aircraft involved are both deceased.
Identification of pilots has been held while the race organization contacts the next of kin. However, witness reports say that the two aircraft came together while recovering following the race.
The aircraft met such that the tail of one aircraft was severed followed by both aircraft falling to the ground at steep angles. There are no reports of anyone on the ground being involved; one aircraft appears to have crashed on open airport property, the other off airport also in open land between two sets of housing.
Whether the Unlimited and Sport Gold races will be run or concluded on the basis of previous heat races remains to be determined.
Statement regarding incident during final day of National Championship Air Races
Reno, Nev. – It is with great sorrow that the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA) announces that around 2:15 p.m. this afternoon, at the conclusion of the T-6 Gold race, upon landing, two planes collided and it has been confirmed that both pilots are deceased. The RARA Board of Directors and the T-6 class president are working to notify next of kin and ensure families have all of our support. There were no civilian injuries and we’re in the process of confirming additional details around the incident. Additional information will be released as soon as it is available. All racing operations are currently suspended.
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.
Editor’s Note: This is a developing story.