Third Fatality At Reno Air Races


A third pilot has died and another was injured in a collision during competition at the National Championship Air Races in Reno. Gary Hubler, of Caldwell, Id., the defending five time champion in the Formula One class, was killed Friday after his Cassutt III M collided with an aircraft flown by Jason Somes, of Simi Valley, Calif. Freelance photographer Lista Duren told the Reno Gazette Journal that pieces of aircraft were flying through the air after the collision. They weren’t big pieces, but you could see pieces flying through the air. Gary’s plane continued forward, losing altitude and flipped upside down and went down, Duren said. Somes pulled up and made an emergency landing about 300 yards away. He was not seriously injured[more] “He was joking with (paramedics) as we were transporting him, so he was in pretty good spirits,” said Alan Tom, special events coordinator for the Regional Emergency Medical Services Agency. Two pylon judges were also slightly hurt, one of them avoiding serious injury by literally a hair. One said the landing gear went right over his head and knocked his hat off, so he’s feeling pretty lucky,” Tom said. Hubler became the 18th racer to die in 44 years and race president Michael Houghton said the spate of fatalities is highly unusual. On Thursday, Brad Morehouse, of Alton, Wy. died when his L-39 went down and on Tuesday, before competition began, Steve Dari, of Lemon Grove, Calif. was killed when his biplane crashed on takeoff. Houghton said racing was to resume Saturday at the request of the race pilots who told organizers they will be able to remain focused during competition.