The Navy released the identities of the two pilots who were killed Sunday when their T-45C Goshawk aircraft crashed in Cherokee National Forest, near Tellico Plains in southeast Tennessee.
The instructor pilot was Lt. Patrick L. Ruth, 31, of Metairie, Louisiana. Ruth was a nine-year Navy veteran and had been an instructor with Training Squadron Seven since 2015. He was commissioned out of Tulane University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps in May, 2008, Navy records show.
He trained as an E-2C pilot and did his initial fleet tour with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 between 2012 and 2015, flying with Carrier Air Wing Three off the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman.
The student was Lt. j.g. Wallace E. Burch, 25, of Horn Lake, Mississippi, who had been in the Navy for three years and with VT-7 since 2016. Burch was commissioned in January 2016 from Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I. He was promoted to lieutenant junior grade January of this year.
Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.