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U.S. NAVY RELEASE NAMES OF TWO PILOTS KILLED IN JET CRASH

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The Navy has released the names of the two pilots that died in the crash of a T-45 near Tellico Plains in the Cherokee National Forest Sunday. Federal investigators said Lt. Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, Louisiana, and Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Mississippi died after their aircraft went down on Oct. 1. Both pilots were assigned to the “Eagles” pf Training Squadron (VT) 7 based at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi. According to a statement released on its website, the Navy said 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. In a post to its Facebook page, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said the jet crashed in the Cherokee National Forest near the fish hatchery on River Road. It was originally believed that the aircraft was carrying explosives but it was later learned that it was not. The investigation into the crash is continuing. Pictured is Lt. J.G. Wallace E. Burch (left) and Lt. Patrick L. Ruth (right).


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