Sutter County U-2 Spy Plane Crash Comes 20 Years After Oroville Crash

By Kyle Buis

OROVILLE (CBS13) — The crash of a U-2 spy plane in Sutter County is resurrecting memories of a previous plane crash, nearly 20 years to the day.

On Aug. 7. 1996, a U-2 spy plane crashed into the parking lot of the Oroville Mercury-Register newspaper, killing the pilot and a woman who was in the parking lot.

u2-crash oroville 1996

Capt. Randy Roby reported mechanical issues with the plane shortly after takeoff that afternoon.

Capt. Randy Roby

Capt. Randy Roby

Nobody else was injured in the crash, but the building suffered significant damage and forced the newspaper’s printing operations to move to the nearby Chico Enterprise-Record. The area surrounding where the plane crashed was filled with homes and businesses, but none of them were damaged by the impact.

A memorial was erected at the site of the crash in 2013.

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