A pilot died when the plane he was in crashed during air races in Reno, Nevada on Sunday afternoon, according to organizers.
Fred Telling, CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association, told a press conference Sunday evening that the pilot was the only casualty.
The Aero L-29 Delfín crashed behind a residential area in Reno around 3:45 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a preliminary statement.
Telling said it happened near a pylon used to mark the flight path.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said in a Tweeter after 4 p.m. he was responding to the crash, which he located in the area of 13945 Red Rock Road, about two miles north of the race venue.
The jet aircraft model, originally developed for military training, was in the final or “gold” race of the jet aircraft class when it crashed during the third lap of the event, Telling said.
He did not identify the pilot, but said the host organization and the “September family” of pilots and fans who attend the event “express our deepest condolences to the pilot’s family and friends.” .
The annual event, called this year the 2022 National Championship Air Races and Air Show, is held each September at the Reno-Stead Airport and featured competition classes for biplanes, fighters and aircraft. World War II era, as well as demonstrations of and contemporary military aircraft.
The first time it took place was in 1964.
On Friday, organizers said the weekend the competition would continue despite the smoke from the Mosquito Fire west of Lake Tahoe. The smoke had prompted Reno-area air quality officials to urge residents to stay indoors on Wednesday.
But on Friday the National Weather Service said a cold front with associated rain would improve air quality through the weekend.
The races and associated demonstrations and events were scheduled from Wednesday to Sunday at the end of the day. Telling said racing was suspended immediately after the accident.
No makeup event had been announced.
The FAA said it would investigate the cause alongside the lead investigating agency, the National Transportation Safety Board.