Air Force pilot killed in U-2 crash

One pilot is dead and another was injured after a U-2 spy plane crashed on Tuesday in California.

The plane was from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base in Northern California. Air Force Times has learned that a lieutenant colonel and captain were aboard the plane at the time of the crash.

The plane crashed shortly after taking off from Beale on a training mission around 9 a.m., military officials said.

A spokesman for the 9th Reconnaissance Wing confirmed that one of the pilots had been killed. The pilot's name has not yet been released pending next of kin notification. The other pilot is being treated for injuries, the extent of which were not immediately known.

The U-2 “Dragon Lady”  is one of the Air Force's most venerable reconnaissance planes, known for its high-flying and its track record during the Cold War. It regularly reaches altitudes of more than 70,000 feet, and its pilots wear pressure suits similar to those worn by astronauts.

It is usually a single-seat airplane. But among the Air Force's inventory of 33 U-2s are five dual-seat models used as trainers.

 


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