An official airline of the competition, Mike Draper, told the Associated Press that a plane-type P-51 Mustang crashed in the area reserved for spectators to 16 h 30 local time.
The aircraft dating from World War II has suddenly begun to turn into a spin and seems to have disintegrated on impact. Bodies were lying bloodied on the ground, while the spectators were doing to help victims and ambulances rushed to the scene.
A spokesman for the emergency services, Stephanie Kruse, said 75 people were injured, 25 seriously. Their lives would be endangered.
The pilot was killed in the accident. This is Jimmy Leewad, 80, a well known racing pilot.
Authorities did not specify the identities of two other people died.
Maureen Higgins, Alabama, who attends the show every year for 16 years, said the pilot was on his third lap when he lost control of his aircraft. She was sitting about thirty yards from the crash site and saw man seated before it started to bleed after being shot in the head by debris.
“I saw body parts and blood as you might imagine. I speak of an arm, a leg, she said. There were people living with missing body parts. I’m not kidding. It was horrible. Unbelievably horrible. ”
Tanya Breining, a native of California, told KTVU-TV channel have been a “real carnage.”
“It was like a bomb had exploded,” she said.
Jeff Martinez, a weather presenter for the channel KRNV said he was just outside the field of competition at the time of the air crash. He saw a plane turn right and crashing to the ground.
“I saw parts and debris flying in all directions, he said. Everyone is incredulous. ”
Another witness, Ronald Sargis said he was sitting in the stands near the finish line when the crash occurred.
“We saw an aircraft approaching a turn off and there were problems, said Sargis. The plane crashed about six or seven of us stands in the front row, “he added.
The pilot appears to have done everything he could to prevent his plane crashed into the crowd, according to Sargis. Rescue teams were immediately put to work, he said.
The National Championship Air Races, a race of military and civilian aircraft, attracting thousands of spectators every September in Reno.
The competition is like a race car in the air, with planes flying very close to each other, sometimes skimming the ground at a very high speed.