U.S. Navy identifies victims killed in Alabama plane crash

FOLEY, Ala. — Two crew members were killed when a Navy plane crashed southeast of Mobile, Alabama, naval authorities said Friday.

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Update 5:10 p.m. EDT Oct. 25: The two crew members who died when a U.S. Navy training plane out of Florida crashed Friday in an Alabama residential neighborhood were an instructor pilot and a student aviator, the U.S. Navy confirmed.

Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross, 30, of Wixom, Michigan, was serving as the instructor on the flight, and U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett, 24, of Weddington, North Carolina, was the student aviator, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported.

The flight originated from Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, and the T-6B Texan II, a turboprop training airplane, crashed into a residential area in Magnolia Springs, Alabama, at about 5 p.m. Friday.

U.S. Navy Commander Wes Barnes, commander of the VT-2 squadron, announced the deaths in a Sunday post on the unit’s Facebook page.

“Our sincerest condolences and prayers go out to the family members who have suffered this tremendous loss,” Barnes wrote. “I cannot express the devastation we all feel at this time.”

According to the Daily News, Garrett was a 2019 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and Ross was commissioned as a Navy officer in 2012. Both women were part of the VT-2 Doerbirds training squadron.

Update 11:57 a.m. EDT Oct. 25: Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett, of Waxhaw, North Carolina, was identified Sunday as one of the two service members killed in a training accident Friday, Military.com reported.

Update 1:57 p.m. EDT Oct. 24: Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, shared his condolences Saturday to the families of the two crew members killed.

“Today, we mourn the loss of our two fallen Shipmates who perished,” he said on social media. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and our Navy teammates.”

Original report: The crash involving a U.S. Navy T-6B Texan II trainer aircraft occurred Friday evening near Foley, WKRG reported.

“No civilians were injured on the ground,” Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter.

T-6B Crash in Foley, AL: A U.S. Navy T-6B Texan II aircraft crashed in Foley, Alabama, at approximately 5 p.m. CST...

Posted by U.S. Naval Air Forces on Friday, October 23, 2020

Naval officials said the names of the deceased members of the aircraft will not be released until their families are notified, WKRG reported.

Naval Air Forces spokesperson Cmdr. Zachary Harrell said the flight took off from the Naval Air Station Whiting Field near Milton, Florida, which lies about a 90-minute drive northeast of the crash area, Navy Times reported.

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn two of our pilots who lost their lives during an aircraft crash in Alabama today....

Posted by Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) on Friday, October 23, 2020

While officials have not confirmed the unit to which the plane belonged, Training Air Wing 5 is based at Whiting Field, the newspaper reported.

According to officials, the plane hit a house and two cars, WALA reported. The crash occurred near Magnolia School in Magnolia Springs, according to the sheriff’s office.

Officials with the Baldwin County School System said the school was not damaged by the crash, according to WALA.

Multiple fire units were dispatched to the area, WEAR reported.

The fire was fully extinguished, but the home and vehicles had massive damage, WKRG reported.

It was not immediately clear how many were on board the aircraft, The Associated Press reported.

The U.S. Department of Defense and the Navy were set to handle the investigation, the sheriff’s office said.

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