Navy identifies pilots killed in Tennessee plane mishap

MERIDIAN, Miss. – The Navy released the identity of the two pilots killed when their T-45C aircraft crashed in Tellico Plains, Tennessee, on Oct 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 assigned to VT-7 since 2015, and had served in the Navy nine year before his death Sunday. Burch, who had joined the squadron in 2016, was in his third year with the Navy.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the mishap.

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