Air Force says U-2 pilots' parachutes deployed

The pilot who died in a U-2 spy plane crash Tuesday has been identified as Lt. Col. Ira S. Eadie
The pilot who died in a U-2 spy plane crash Tuesday has been identified as Lt. Col. Ira S. Eadie
Author

24 September, 2016

A U-2 spy plane crashed in northern California on Tuesday, killing one pilot and injuring another, the U.S. Air Force said.

The 1950s era aircraft went down during a training flight in Sutter County, 48 miles from Sacramento, on Tuesday.

Another pilot who survived sustained injuries that are not life-threatening and is now recovering in good condition at a local medical facility, base officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. Air Force is investigating what caused the plane, assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, to go down shortly after taking off from Beale Air Force Base around 9 a.m. PDT Tuesday.

The pilots were participating in a training mission when the accident happened, according to the Air Force.

"I would match the safety and maintenance record of the U-2 with any of the apparatus the Air Force flies", said Broadwell.

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Barnes says military investigators are looking into the cause of the crash, but there's no timeline for them to conclude their probe. One of the most probable theories suggests that the pilot who died might have hit debris after ejecting.

Air Force's fleet of single-seat U-2s and a double-seat variant are used to train pilot at the Beale Air Force Base to fly the specialized aircraft.

A pilot killed in a military plane crash in California is from Northeast Florida.

All U-2's are temporarily grounded at Beale after its first crash in about two decades. The U-2 also gained fame for uncovering secretive Soviet launch site in the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Those two accidents broke a five-year run in which the U-2 aircraft did not experience any serious mishaps.

The U-2 is slated for retirement in 2019 as the military relies increasingly on unmanned aircraft for intelligence gathering, though senior US lawmakers from California are pressuring the Air Force to delay the retirement.


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