Conejo Valley resident Chris Rushing was killed Sunday when two planes collided at the National Championship Air Races in Reno.
Rushing was president of the nonprofit Condor Squadron, a Van Nuys Airport-based organization that promotes the history and legacy of the World War II-era AT-6 Texan Trainer aircraft.
The squadron regularly performs flyovers with their vintage planes through Southern California on holidays and special occasions. They also maintain a museum at the airport and an exhibit at the Valhalla Cemetery in Burbank.
A tribute to Rushing on their website read, “Chris was known to many as a great man and a skilled pilot, passionate about aviation and serving the community. Chris was a dedicated leader, and enthusiastically led the Condor Squadron in its mission to preserve our Nation’s military aviation heritage, flying hundreds of memorial flights in honor of our veterans and in support of our local communities.
Chris will be missed, and the Condor Squadron will continue this mission in his honor.”
Rushing was flying Baron’s Revenge, a WWII plane, when the tail of the two aircraft hit and the tail of one was severed. Both planes fell to the ground at a steep angle. The other pilot, Nick Macy of Tulelake, flying a Six-Cat, was also killed.
Fred Telling, Chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association, said that Rushing and Macy were both expert pilots. Services for Rushing are pending at presstime.