Three people were killed and more than 50 injured when a World War II racing plane plunged toward spectators in a horrific crash at an air show in Nevada.

Investigators were still trying to find out what exactly caused the World War II vintage racing plane to plunge toward spectators at the Reno air races on Friday.

Among the three confirmed dead is the pilot Jimmy Leeward, a 74-year-old real estate developer from Ocala, Fla. He was described as a skilled airman and member of a tight-knit flying community, according to reports.

Jimmy Leeward reportedly lost control of the P-51 Mustang that spiraled into a box seat area at the National Championship Air Races at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

I did have an opportunity to visit the site, and it is horrific, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval told the Los Angeles Times.

Reno Air Races President and CEO Mike Houghton told The Associated Press that family members were at the air show and saw the crash.

They obviously are devastated, he said. I talked to Jimmy's son and his wife wanted me to know that Jimmy would not want us to cancel the races but sometimes you have to do things that are not very popular.

According to The AP, Leeward's pilot's medical records were up-to-date, and he was a very qualified, very experienced pilot, Houghton said.

He'd been racing at the show in Reno since 1975.

Everybody knows him. It's a tight-knit family, Houghton told The AP. He's been here for a long, long time.