TWO pilots have died in a plane collision at the Reno Air Races, just months after they were canceled due to safety concerns.
Sunday’s crash outside Reno-Stead Airport in Nevada tragically ended the region’s premier tourism event.
The deaths were confirmed by the Reno Air Racing Association, which announced that the rest of the day’s events were canceled.
At around 2:15 p.m. after the T-6 Gold Race, both participants crashed into each other after landing.
Onlookers screamed in horror and the narrator fell silent as first responders ran to the crash site. Live stream recordings reveals.
Both pilots were killed and no other people were injured in the crash, officials said.
Program directors are working to notify victims’ families of the deaths.
RARA is working with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Air Association to determine the cause of the accident and “ensure that all of our pilots, spectators and volunteers receive the necessary assistance.”
Sunday was the final day of the air race, which has brought together enthusiasts from across the county for 59 years.
The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees voted months ago to cancel the event and planned to celebrate the 60th anniversary with an air show instead.
It was canceled due to safety concerns as another pilot died last year after his plane crashed and exploded into a fireball, live stream footage showed.
Economic challenges also prompted the board’s decision after insurance costs rose to $1.3 million.
“We have stated very publicly that we hope to stay here forever,” Tony Logoteta, RARA’s chief operating officer, said after the decision.
“But sometimes things change and things don’t go exactly the way we planned or hoped.”
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