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NAS-Meridian plane crash victims names released

The Navy has released the identity of the pilots killed when their T-45C aircraft crashed in Tellico Plains, Tenn., on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, at approximately 4 p.m.

Lieutenant Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, La. and Lieutenant Junior Grade Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Miss. died when their aircraft went down in the Cherokee National Forest in Eastern Tenn. Both pilots were assigned to the "Eagles" of Training Squadron SEVEN (VT-7) based at NAS Meridian, Miss. 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.

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

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