TIME Military

1 Pilot Dead, 1 Injured in U-2 Spy Plane Crash in California

An aircraft assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base and on a training mission went down on the lower slopes of the Sutter Buttes on Sept. 20, 2016.
Hector Amezcua—TNS/Getty Images An aircraft assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base and on a training mission went down on the lower slopes of the Sutter Buttes on Sept. 20, 2016.

The Air Force says they were on a training mission

One pilot has died and another was injured after a U-2 spy plane crashed in a rural area in Northern California on Tuesday morning.

The high-altitude plane crashed not long after takeoff in what the Air Force described as a training mission for the two pilots. Early word suggested they had both safely ejected from the flight, but officials later announced the death and injury.

The jet reportedly came from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base north of Sacramento, the L.A. Times reports. The last U-2 crash to take place near the base was in Oroville in 1996, when a pilot and a woman in a parking lot were killed.

The U-2 was designed during the Eisenhower administration, when it was used as a method for spying behind the Iron Curtain. It has been redesigned many times, and is slated for retirement in 2019.

[LA Times]

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