Pilot error blamed in Navy crash that killed 3

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SPOKANE — Pilot error caused a training jet to crash in an Eastern Washington field in March 2013, killing all three crew members aboard, the Navy said Tuesday.

The EA-6B Prowler was based at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Puget Sound.

A detailed review of the crash was released by the Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in San Diego, the Spokesman-Review reported.

Among several findings, the review concluded that the flight’s instructor, Lt. Cmdr. Alan A. Patterson, 34, from Tullahoma, Tenn., had been placed into “unnecessarily accelerated training,” and the other two flight officers were not fully prepared for the challenging, low-altitude mission they were flying.

Also killed on March 11, 2013, were pilot Lt. Valerie Delaney, 26, from Ellicott City, Md., and flight officer Lt. William Brown McIlvaine III, 24, of El Paso, Texas.