At least nine people were confirmed killed and more than 50 injured Friday afternoon when a plane crashed into the stands at an air race in Reno. Because of the number and severity of injuries, the death toll was expected to rise.
Mike Houghton, president of the National Championship Air Races in Reno, said the National Transportation Safety Board had taken over the investigation and would determine a cause but that the pilot, 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, was “an experienced, talented and qualified pilot.”
The crash at the Reno air races was the first to take the lives of spectators, but it wasn’t the first to kill a pilot. At least 19 other pilots have died in crashes at the Reno air races since 1972, including three deaths in 2007.