A vintage plane crashed during a popular annual air show at Reno in the United States, killing nine persons, including the pilot, and injuring more than 70 spectators.

74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, the veteran pilot of the World War 11-era fighter plane, died on the spot in front of his family and thousands of spectators when his plane plunged into a crowded tarmac in full speed.

It hit full force, full throttle, The Telegraph quoted an eyewitness as saying.

Bodies covered in blood were scattered in the area and ambulances rushed to the scene. The horrific scene was strewn with body parts and smoking debris.

Jimmy, who flew the P-51 Mustang, also known as the Galloping Ghost, abruptly nosedived into the VIP seating section. He had raced at the event since 1975, and had served as a stunt pilot for several Hollywood films.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident. According to an AP report, the NTSB is trying to find the cause of the incident by examining video clips that shows a small piece of the aircraft falling to the ground before the crash.

The organizers of the air show, however, said that a mechanical fault was likely to be the reason for the crash. They were waiting for the results of the official investigation.

The Reno Air show has been cancelled after the incident.