The pilot of an Aero L-29 that took part in the National Championship Air Races in Reno, northwest Nevada on Sunday, has been confirmed dead following a plane crash. The racing association CEO Fred Telling confirmed the incident in a press briefing. 

Footage from the live stream on the racing association’s official YouTube channel which has since been taken down shows the plane crash and immediately bursting into flames. 

The plane crashed at about 3:45 p.m. local time while taking part in the air races. In a statement issued following the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration said that the FAA and the National Transport Safety Board will investigate the incident. 

The Reno Air Racing Association confirmed the crash in a statement posted on its official Twitter handle.

— Reno Air Racing Association (@RenoAirRaces) September 19, 2022

All other pilots landed safely and the race which started on Wednesday and was scheduled to go through Sunday has since been suspended. The association expressed its sympathies in the Tweet to the family of the pilot, his friends, and fans of the air races, “we express our deepest sympathies to the pilot’s family and friends, as well as racers and race fans who make up our September family”.

This is not the first plane crash that has occurred during a Jet Gold Race.  A similar incident occurred in 2011, where 11 people were confirmed dead and 70 people injured when a plane crashed into the grandstand at the 49th annual Reno National Championship Air Races.

The NTSB report following the incident said the plane was pushed beyond its structural limit.

Changes were made and the event continued a year later. In 2014, one of the planes taking part in the air races experienced a wing malfunction, the plane crashed killing the pilot, a retired Air Force Pilot from San Jose.  

The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation as well as provide additional updates following their findings. 


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