Van Nuys Pilot Killed in Mid-Air Collision at Reno Air Races

Over the weekend in Reno, during the 2023 National Championship Air Races, two pilots perished when their aircraft collided in the air. The 59th and final race of the series, according to the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), took place early Sunday afternoon.

The Reno Air Racing Association said on X, formerly known as Twitter, “It is with great sorrow that the Reno Air Racing Association 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 Reno Air Racing Association posted on Twitter:

Chris Rushing, who flies out of Van Nuys, and Nick Macy, who flies out of Tulelake in Northern California, were the pilots, according to RARA. According to a tweet from RARA, “Families of both pilots have been notified and support services are onsite as they deal with this tragedy.”

According to the organization, Rushing piloted the North American AT-6B Baron’s Revenge and Macy the North American T-6G Six Cat.

At the conclusion of the T-6 Gold Race, the planes collided as they landed. On each of their planes, only Rushing and Macy were present. No bystanders were hurt in the collision.

I am completely devastated and heartbroken today,” shared Fred Telling, who leads the Reno Air Racing Association and oversees the T-6 Class. “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.”

Following the incident, the event’s remaining races were postponed. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating what caused the crash.

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According to a Federal Aviation Administration statement, “A single-engine North American T-6G and a single-engine North American AT-6B collided in mid-air at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, around 2:45 p.m. local time on Sunday, Sept. 17. Only the pilots were on board both aircraft.” “The FAA and the NTSB will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide further updates.”

The RARA tweeted afterward that both pilots were “expertly skilled pilots and Gold winners in the T-6 Class.” In the T-6 Gold race in 2022, Rushing triumphed, with Macy coming in second.

Rushing also won in 2016, as well as once more in 2019, and once more in 2021, according to the T-6 Racing Association website. Macy triumphed in 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012.

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