Hawaii guardsmen back from Reno air show crash - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii guardsmen back from Reno air show crash

Colonel Richard Ando, Hawaii Air National Guard Colonel Richard Ando, Hawaii Air National Guard

HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE (HawaiiNewsNow) – "Worse than a battle scene." That is how Chief Master Sergeant Alan Ogata described the scene after a plane crashed last Friday at an air show in Reno, Nevada killing the pilot and nine people on the ground.

Ogata was one of about 30 members of the Hawaii Air National Guard who were in Reno showcasing a C-17 transport plane at the air show. The returned to Hickam Air Force Base late Monday afternoon carrying the emotional baggage of the horror they witnessed.

"The aircraft did a funky maneuver right in that turn and it caught every body's attention and that's when things didn't look good when the plan went inverted. I knew something was about to happen," said Lt. Jason Lilly.

"And all of a sudden, boom. It was down and it was an explosion and we all hit the deck. And from there we saw that there were injuries. A lot of people just rushed into action. I was quite impressed at the response. Civilian, military, everyone just rushed into help these people," added Colonel Richard Ando, a physician who tended to some of the injured.

The death toll rose to ten Monday when a ninth spectator on the ground died of injuries suffered in the crash. Many more people were hurt. Reno firefighters, paramedics, police - and the Hawaii guardsmen tended to survivors.

"One woman in particular I remember, she was shaking because she just saw her husband killed in front of her. So just having my jacket I just covered her with my jacket and we sat her down, gave her water, and started administering to her," Ogata told Hawaii News Now.

Ogata described the response as "orderly chaos" as he and others from Hawaii administered first aid, transported people from the scene, and helped with crowd control.

"I feel pretty privileged to be wearing a Hawaiian flag on my shoulder and being able to represent. We're there to help out wherever the situation occurs," Lilly said.

"They are a credit to the National Guard and out state. I know a lot of them are probably affected (emotionally) by this, but that wasn't something we thought about at the time. It was just to help the people that we could," Ogata concluded.

A guardsman from Hawaii suffered a non-life threatening injury when the plane crashed. He was taken by ambulance to a Reno hospital, treated for undisclosed injuries, and released that night.

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