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2 pilots dead in collision at National Championship Air Races in Nevada

Two pilots were killed Sunday when their planes collided upon landing at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, race organizers said.

The planes collided about 2:15 p.m. in a “landing accident” at the end of the event’s T-6 Gold race, the Reno Air Racing Association said in statements.

The two pilots were identified by the association Sunday night as Nick Macy, who piloted a plane called Six-Cat, and Chris Rushing, who piloted Baron’s Revenge. Both were said to be previous winners in the class.

Organizers canceled the remainder of races, previously set to conclude at the end of the day.

“I am completely devastated and heartbroken today,” Fred Telling, chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association and president of the T-6 class, said in a statement.

He added, “These two pilots weren’t just an integral part of the National Championship Air Race family, they were a part of my family.”

No other deaths or injuries were reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would investigate.

The T-6 class of racing pits “stock,” propeller-driven North American Aviation T-6 Texan aircraft, first flown as training planes in the prewar era, in contests of speed and agility.

The annual races began Wednesday.

On Sept. 18, 2022, a jet-propelled Aero L-29 Delfín racing in a final crashed behind a residential area in Reno, killing the pilot.

In 2011, several spectators were killed when a 1940s-model plane slammed into a crowded tarmac at the event. Nine people, including at least seven on the ground and the pilot, were killed.

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