A dusty series of races for 2022 ended abruptly this afternoon. Reno Air Racing Association’s (RARA) Stihl National Championship Air Races saw tragedy in the Jet Gold race today, with pilot Aaron Hogue flying into the dirt in his L-29, Ballista.
Pilots on scene posted onto social media immediately following the accident. All other jets in the heat have returned to base safely.
— Ben Margiott (@BenMargiott) September 18, 2022
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have opened an investigation into the accident. RARA has halted all races at this time.
At this time we are gathering information and confirming details of the incident that happened today during the Jet Gold Race. We can confirm that only one plane was involved. The National Championship Air Races has suspended all operations for the 2022 event.
— Reno Air Racing Association (@RenoAirRaces) September 18, 2022
The 2022 air races had been operating under strained conditions, the result of wildfires that had severely reduced visibility at Reno-Stead Airport (KRTS) all week, with many heats canceled. FLYING is on site at the races and will be adding to this coverage as more information comes to light.