Officials with the Reno Air Racing Association said at a news conference that L-29 pilot Aaron Hogue was killed in Sunday’s crash during the event’s championship round.
Race officials said the crash occurred on the third of six laps during the Jet Gold Race on outer pylon 5.
According to a video of the event, the 61-year-old Hogue appeared to have some kind of trouble with his jet before it crashed into the ground and burst into flames.
The remainder of the competition was canceled after the crash, which is being investigated by the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration.
Fred Telling, chairman and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association, said Hogue’s family witnessed the crash that happened about three miles from the spectator stands.
“While we cannot change this tragedy, I would ask everybody to think, pray, and honor Aaron for his passion for life and certainly his passion for air racing,” Telling said.
Racing officials say Hogue had flown planes since he was 16. The resident of Paso Robles, California, received his introductory flight license in 1987.