US Navy identifies pilots killed in T-45C training jet crash

An undated file photo of Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Mississippi. Burch was one of two pilots who were killed Oct. 1 when their T-45C aircraft crashed in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has identified the two pilots who did not survive a crash of their T-45C Goshawk aircraft in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, on October 1.

Lt. Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, Louisiana, and Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Mississippi, died when their aircraft went down in the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee.

Both pilots were assigned to the “Eagles” of Training Squadron (VT) 7 based at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.

Ruth had been in the Navy for nine years and was a member of VT-7 since 2015. Burch had been in the Navy for nearly three years and was a member of VT-7 since 2016.

The navy said an investigation to determine the cause of the mishap was underway.

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