Navy: Train­ing jet flew too low — for thrills — be­fore crash

The Record (Troy, NY) - - WEATHER -

NASHVILLE, TENN.» The Navy is cit­ing pi­lot er­ror for a mil­i­tary train­ing jet crash in Ten­nessee that killed the two aboard, say­ing it was be­ing flown for thrills and too low.

Navy of­fi­cials said in a re­port the T-45C Goshawk was fly­ing be­low al­low­able al­ti­tudes last Oc­to­ber when it plunged into woods near Tel­lico Plains.

The crash killed 31-year-old in­struc­tor Lt. Pa­trick Ruth from Me­tairie, Louisiana, and 25-year-old stu­dent pi­lot Lt. j.g. Wal­lace Burch from Horn Lake, Mis­sis­sippi. Both were sta­tioned at Naval Air Sta­tion Merid­ian in Mis­sis­sippi. The flight orig­i­nated from McGee Tyson Air­port in Knoxville, Ten­nessee.

The re­port cited a “cul­ture” within the in­di­vid­ual train­ing unit and Naval air train­ing at large that al­lowed pi­lots to fly “be­yond the bounds” of ap­proved Naval Air Train­ing Com­mand cur­ricu­lum. It also said lead­er­ship failed to en­sure train­ing op­er­a­tions ad­hered to ap­proved pub­li­ca­tions.

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