Van Nuys pilot one of 2 killed in mid-air collision during Reno air race

Two pilots, including one out of Van Nuys, were killed Sunday after their planes collided during an air race competition in Reno, Nevada, the Reno Air Racing Association announced.

Chris Rushing and Nick Macy were killed Sunday during the National Championship Air Races. According to the RARA, the incident happened around 2:15 p.m. Sunday, when Rushing and Macy’s planes collided during a “landing accident.”

The post called the duo “skilled pilots,” both winning competitions in the T-6 class. Rushing piloted a plane called Baron’s Revenge while Macy piloted Six-Cat.

“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. “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.”

No one else was injured in the incident, the RARA said.

The incident prompted the RARA to cancel the remainder of the events in Reno Sunday. The National Championship Air Races ran from Sept. 13 to Sept. 17. On the RARA website, the association calls the event “the last event of its kind,” started in 1964.

Rushing was also the President of the Condor Squadron in Van Nuys, a “group of aviation enthusiasts dedicated to preserving the memory of those who have served our country over the years,” which flies in memorial flights in restored WWII planes.

According to the RARA’s records, Macy had flown at the competition in Six-Cat dating back to 1986, while Rushing had flown in the air races since 2005, competing in Baron’s Revenge since 2012. 

The National Transportation Safety Board has announced it’s investigating the crash, and the RARA said it’s cooperating with the investigation.

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