Aaron Hogue Reno Jet Gold race pilot killed after crashing in front of shocked fans during Nevada airshow. What went wrong?
Attending fans at a Nevada air show bore witness to the moment a jet race between two pilots went horribly wrong over the weekend, with one of the pilots crashing and erupting in a huge fireball, killing its occupant.
Captured footage of Sunday’s Jet Gold Race starts off with two planes racing across the Reno mountains in Nevada when one of them gets too low and crashes into a field.
Killed instantly was 61 year old veteran pilot, Aaron Hogue, former 2021 Rookie of the Year.
Video showed (see video one and video 2 below) Hogue’s plane erupting in a blaze as it skidded across the grassy knoll, sending flames flying as thousands of attending fans of the air show watched on in horror. The macabre incident would go on to be shared widely via livestream.
‘Oh no, oh no,’ the announcer says, as his co-host at the Jet Gold Race says: ‘There was a problem, we’ve had a catastrophe here Thomas.’
Pilot, Aaron Hogue, dies after his plane crashes and bursts into flames during the championship round of the Reno Air Races. The crash happened on lap 3 of 6 during the Jet Gold Race. pic.twitter.com/oLyO8HdNd4
— Shahryar Sultan (@Shahryar_Sultan) September 19, 2022
What went wrong?
A judge then calls a red flag as the video shows smoke billowing from the crash, with organizers suspending the National Championship Air Races in the aftermath.
Fred Telling, the CEO and president of the Reno Air Racing Association, during a follow-up news conference said the crash happened on lap three of six during the Jet Gold Race on outer pylon five.
‘All other pilots landed safely,’ he noted, adding that the Racing Association board ‘express our greatest sympathies to the pilot’s family and friends, as well as the race fans.’
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the crash. It remained unclear if pilot error or faulty plane machinations were at play.
— Ben Margiott (@BenMargiott) September 18, 2022
In the aftermath of the crash, tributes piled on for Hogue on social media.
Spectators said he experienced ‘unknown complications’ with his jet in the moments before he crashed into the runway.
He had always been into planes, according to his biography on RacingJets.com, which says: ‘Aaron has been into all things motorized since [he was] a young boy, anything aviation was always high on the list!
‘Aaron took some introductory flights at 16 and finally got his ticket in 1987 after spending time in the Navy as Electricians Technician.’