Pilot Aaron Hogue lost in L-29 Ballista as races come to a halt.

By Julie Boatman

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, which took place near Pylon 5 on the course. All other jets in the heat have returned to base safely.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have opened an investigation into the accident. RARA has halted all races at this time.

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.