Officials identified the victims as Chris Rushing of Thousand Oaks and Nick Macy of Tulelake.
The two planes collided Sunday afternoon at the end of the T-6 Gold Race on the final day of the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport, authorities said.
Race officials said they were working with the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration and local authorities to determine the cause of the fatal crash.
“It wasn’t a racing accident. It was actually a post-race landing accident,” said Fred Telling, CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association. “We’re all curious as to how this happened.”
Telling described Rushing and Macy as experienced, experienced pilots who had just finished in the top two places in the T-6 Gold race.
Rushing was the defending champion of the race. As the head of a nonprofit organization in Van Nuys, California, he dedicated himself to promoting the history of Texas’ World War II-era AT-6 trainer aircraft, the Orange County Register reported.
The crash marred the final year of the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport after nearly six decades.
Due to increasing development around the airport and other concerns, the event needed to find a new venue, organizers said.
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