The Navy confirmed the fatalities in a release posted on its website, saying the crew members were aboard an EA-6B Prowler assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 129at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. The Navy said the identifies of those killed when the jet went down in an unpopulated area about 50 miles west of Spokane would be withheld for a day after relatives were notified.
The Navy said the aircraft was on a training flight and the cause of the crash had yet to be determined.
"There's a pretty deep depression, a hole in the ground, and a lot of debris scattered around," Stan Dammel, who lives in the area and took his own plane over the crash site, told KOMO-TV, Seattle.
The EA-6B is an electronic warfare jet, an aircraft often used to provide support on combat missions.