On Sunday afternoon, around 2:15 p.m., veteran pilots of the T-6 class, Nick Macy and Chris Rushing passed after the T-6 Gold race had ended. Both individuals were longtime participants and staunch supporters of the event and we are heartbroken over this loss.
While the incident happened just outside of the race course, it did not involve any civilians or residential buildings. As is always the case, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are handling the investigation into the crash but we do know that this was not related to racing and happened in the course of landing. Though the families of both pilots wanted us to continue racing and the FAA and NTSB had cleared us to continue, we made the decision to cancel the rest of the event out of an abundance of caution and respect for all of our racers and families.
While there are inherent risks with any motorsport, we work diligently year around to mitigate these risks and safety is our foremost priority. Despite the sad way we have ended our storied tenure in northern Nevada, we want to express our appreciation to the countless fans and volunteers who have supported the event over the years. With the encouragement of our pilots, volunteers and entire air race family and the encouragement of both of these two pilots’ families, we will continue to work to identify a new location for the National Championship Air Races and hope to make that announcement in early 2024.
We want to express our heartfelt thank you to the countless individuals who work to put on an event of this magnitude. This was one of the biggest in the event’s history and we are incredibly grateful to all of the fans who show unconditional support through both the good and troubling times.