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Pilot killed in Reno crash identified as Henderson businessman

Updated September 20, 2022 - 7:29 am

Aaron Hogue, a Henderson businessman, has been identified as the pilot killed when his jet crashed Sunday during the National Championship Air Races in Reno.

Hogue, 61, was flying his red L-29 jet named Ballista in the Jet Gold Race when the aircraft went down in full view of spectators, bursting into flames near the Reno-Stead Airport.

“Aaron’s death affects everyone,” Reno Air Association Chairman and CEO Fred Telling said in a press conference Monday. “While we cannot change this tragedy, I would ask everybody to think, pray and honor Aaron in his passion for his life and certainly his passion for air racing.”

The crash was captured on video, various tweets showed the plunging plane from different vantage points and it was shown on the event’s official broadcast.

“And Hogue has fallen back at least into third,” the commentator announced as Hogue’s jet skirted dangerously close to the ground before hitting it and erupting in flames.

“Oh no,” the other commentator added as the plane was destroyed. “Oh no.”

“There was a problem. Oh, we’ve had a catastrophe here, Thomas,” the other commentator added.

Telling said Hogue’s family was present at the race, and the rest of the event was suspended Sunday. More than a thousand people attended a vigil Sunday night at the racing venue to honor Hogue.

Hogue and his brother Patrick took over Hogue Inc., a company started by their father and former Los Angeles police officer Guy Hogue in California in 1968, according to an online biography of the company. A manufacturer of knives, pistol grips and other combat and defense-related gear, the company is now based in Henderson.

Both sides of Hogue’s red jet, the one that crashed Sunday, were emblazoned with HogueKnives.com.

The event was the site of another fatal crash on Sept. 16, 2011, when a P-51D Mustang racing aircraft piloted by Jimmy Leeward crashed into the audience and killed 10 people as well as Leeward. Nearly 70 other people were injured.

Telling said Sunday’s crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com or 561-324-6421. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter. Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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