Two Air Force pilots safely eject in U-2 crash in California - Kogonuso


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Sep 20, 2016

Two Air Force pilots safely eject in U-2 crash in California

Allen Cone
A Lockheed Martin U-2 Dragon Lady military surveillance jet flies at California Capital Airshow in 2010 near Mather Airport in Sacramento. On Tuesday, a U-2 crashed on a training flight in Sutter, Calif., and both pilots safely ejected, according to the Air Force. Photo by ugene Berman/Shutterstock
Two U.S. Air Force pilots safely ejected from a U-2 spy plane that crashed Tuesday during a training mission in northern California.
The plane crashed around 9 a.m. in an isolated area in Sutter County near Yuba City and 46 miles north of Sacramento, according to the Air Force.
Air Combat Command tweeted the two unidentified pilots were awaiting recovery.
A grass fire broke out at the scene, CBS13 reported.
On Aug. 7, 1996, a U-2 spy plane crashed in Oroville, killing the pilot, Capt. Randy Roby and a customer who was in the parking lot of the Oroville Mercury-Register newspaper. Ororville is 29 miles from Yuba City.
The U-2 is routinely flown at altitudes over 70,000 feet, and U-2 pilots must wear a full pressure suit similar to those worn by astronauts, according to an Air Force fact sheet.
The U-2 Dragon Lady, which holds two crew members, is a high-altitude surveillance plane based at Beale Air Force Base in California. The 63-foot long U-2R, first flown in 1967, was manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The one-seat first U-2 first flew in 1955.
The aircraft is part of the Ninth Reconnaissance Wing, which according to the Air Force, "is responsible for providing national and theater command authorities with timely, reliable, high-quality, high-altitude reconnaissance products."
U-2 flights flew over the Soviet Union in the late 1950s. In May 1960, Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission in Soviet Union airspace. Powers was interrogated extensively by the KGB for months before he confessed and publicly apologized for his part in espionage. Powers was convicted of espionage and served in Vladimir Central Prison until February 1962 when he was exchanged in a spy swap.
In October 1962, the U-2 photographed the buildup of Soviet offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba, touching off the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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