Reno air races have claimed 19 other pilots since 1972
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The crash at the National Championship Air Races in Reno on Friday 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 alone. At least six of the pilots killed in the event’s 47-year history were from Southern California.
Fatal crashes include:
2008: Erica Simpson crashed after the wings on her plane snapped during a mid-air maneuver.
2007: In one week, there were three separate fatal crashes. Steve Dari, Brad Morehouse and Gary Hubler all died within a four-day span.
2002: Gary Levitz was killed after his plane fell apart in mid-air and showered debris over several houses.
1998: Richard “Dick” Roberts crashed in the desert after having a heart attack. The 63-year-old was a safety inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration.
1978: Dimitry Prian and Don DeWalt were killed after their planes collided during a race. Both were Southern California natives -- Prian of Long Beach and DeWalt of El Monte.
1975: M.D. Washburn of Houston was killed when the wing of his T-6 clipped a pylon and plowed into the ground during a race.
-- Rick Rojas, with Associated Press reports