Navy IDs 30-Year-Old Instructor Pilot Killed in Trainer Plane Crash

Gina Harkins
·2 min read

The second person killed in a military plane that crashed in Alabama on Friday was a Navy instructor pilot, officials announced on Sunday.

Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross, 30, of Wixom, Michigan, died when the T-6B Texan II trainer aircraft she was in crashed in Foley, Alabama, Friday evening. Ross was flying with Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett, a 24-year-old student aviator, who also died in the crash.

Ross earned her commission in April 2012. Before joining the Florida-based Training Squadron Two in February 2018, she served three years with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 out of Norfolk, Virginia.

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Garrett, of Weddington, North Carolina, was a 2019 Coast Guard Academy graduate.

"Their spirit, friendship, and devotion to their country will not be forgotten," Navy officials said in a Sunday news release.

Ross and Garrett had taken off from Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Florida, on a routine training flight. Their T-6B crashed in a residential area at about 5 p.m.

Local and Navy emergency personnel responded to the scene. No civilians were injured in the crash.

The plane struck two cars and a house, according to local media reports on the crash.

"The Navy is working with local authorities to investigate the incident," the Navy release states.

Ross was a member of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor's Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps, according to her Navy career bio. Her personal awards include a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

Friday's accident marked the Navy's first aviation-related fatality in more than a year. The Naval Safety Center announced last week that the Navy and Marine Corps recorded no aviation-related deaths in fiscal 2020, which ended on Sept. 30.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

Related: Navy T-6B Crashes in Alabama Neighborhood, Killing 2 Aircrew