Dorothy A. Tuller, 36, an educational specialist and former commander of the Herndon Civil Air Patrol Squadron, was killed Saturday in a plane crash in Bedford County, Va.

She was taking off from New London Airport at Forest in her single-engine plane when she crashed. She had just delivered two other members of the Herndon squadron plane that had been under repair there.

Mrs. Tuller, who learned to fly while still in her teens, had formed the Herndon Civil Air Patrol Squadron in 1973 and was its commander through 1976.

She and her husband, Steven Tuller, who recently retired as a chief warrant officer from the U.S. Coast Guard, had lived in this area since the early 1970s. He also is a licensed pilot, and the jointly owned the airplane in which she was killed.

At the time of her death, they were in the process of moving from Herndon to Price, Utah.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mrs. Tuller joined the Civil Air Patrol at the age of 15, learned to fly several years later and became a ham radio operator.

She earned a bachelor of science degree and master's degree in education from Boston University. After her marriage in 1961, she worked as a reading specialist in New York, Massachusetts and California school systems. She also was an instructional projects coordinator for the National Education Association, conducting teacher workshops across the country.

Able to fly 18 different types of aircraft, Mrs. Tuller had participated in Civil Air Patrol search and rescue activities throughout the state of Virginia.

In 1972, she toured the country as Military Wife of the Year after she was chosen out of five finalists representing each branch of the military in an annual contest sponsored by Stokely Van Camp, Inc.

Mrs. Tuller was a member of the Ninety-Nines, Inc., an organization of women pilots, and in 1973 won its International Amelia Earhart Scholarship. She attended the National Search and Rescue School at Governor's Island, N.Y.

Last July, she accompanied six Civil Air Patrol girls on tour of France as gram. Last September, she started a part of a worldwide exchange pro-career aviation course at Herndon High School.

Mrs. Tuller also gaught remedial reading at Herndon Intermediate School. She had been a member of the board of directors of the former Co-op School for Handicapped Children in Fairfax County.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her parents, Mr. nad Mrs. Delio Vazquez, of Brooklyn.