Reno Air Races crowd left shaken after pilot dies as plane crashes and bursts into flames

The horrifying incident took place during the third lap of the Jet Gold Race at Reno Stead Airport in Nevada

Reno Air Races crowd left shaken after pilot dies as plane crashes and bursts into flames
The plane crashed into the ground before exploding into flames (KTVN TV 2 News screenshot/ YouTube)
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Trigger warning: This article contains graphic content, viewers' discretion is advised

RENO, NEVADA: In a tragic incident that occurred on Sunday, September 18, 2022, a pilot died after a plane crashed straight into the ground and eventually exploded into flames. The incident took place during the third lap of the championship round of the Jet Gold Race at Reno Stead Airport in Nevada.

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According to DailyMail, the race began with two airplanes racing across the Reno mountains. However, one of the planes eventually came very close to the ground and crashed into a field. It then quickly burst into a fireball, resulting in the death of a pilot.

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After the plane exploded, it then quickly skidded to the grassy lane and the announcer stated, "Oh no, oh no," to which his co-host at the Jet Gold Race responded, "There was a problem, we've had a catastrophe here, Thomas." A judge then called it a red flag and the championship was then suspended.

According to NBC News, the Aero L-29 Delfín crashed in Reno around Sunday afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a preliminary statement.

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The pilot died on the spot after the catastrophe. Frederick Telling, the CEO and president of the Reno Air Racing Association, confirmed the horrifying incident at a press conference, "All other pilots landed safely." He added, "Racing Association board express our greatest sympathies to the pilot's family and friends, as well as the race fans."

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Frederick Telling,
Frederick Telling, the CEO and president of the Reno Air Racing Association, confirmed the death of the pilot (Frederick Telling/LinkedIn)

Although the identity of the pilot is uncertain as officials have not commented on it, Daily Mail has revealed that Aaron Hogue, 61, was the person who died in the tragic accident through various Facebook posts. Matt Moore, who works as Line Service Supervisor at Sacramento International Airport, posted on his Facebook wall, "RIP Aaron Hogue you raced your heart out and may you continue to do so in the vast blue skies will never forget what i saw."

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According to DailyMail, one of the write-ups about Hogue on racingjets.com, a blog run by Racing Jets Incorporated (RJI), a body that manages various functions and relationships of the jet racing community, stated,  "Aaron has been into all things motorized since [he was] a young boy, anything aviation was always high on the list!" It further added, "Aaron took some introductory flights at 16 and finally got his ticket in 1987 after spending time in the Navy as Electricians Technician." 

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Meanwhile, The Washoe County Sheriff's Office said in a tweet, "The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is responding to an Air Races related plane crash in the area of 13945 Red Rock Road. Please avoid the area."

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Further, it confirmed in another tweet," The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office confirms one person is deceased as a result of a plane crash at the Reno Air Races today. WCSO detectives are currently working the scene with the Medical Examiner’s Office. No names will be released until notification of next of kin."

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