UPDATE: People First At Scene Describe Carnage After U-2 Plane Crash


3:45 p.m UPDATE: Beale Air Force Base officials say a seasoned instructor and another pilot were on board the U-2 plane that crashed near the Sutter Buttes on Tuesday.

The plane was on a training mission when it crashed.

The commander at Beale AFB says it’s been an emotional day at the base. He said they are still in the process of notifying the victim’s families.

“I would match the safety record of a U-2 with any other aircraft the Air Force flies. In fact, we are going to continue flying U-2 missions around the world and around the clock,” said Col. Larry Broadwell, Commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.

Broadwell said they are still in the process of notifying the victim’s families.

1:15 p.m. UPDATE: Beale Air Force Base has confirmed one of the pilots in the crash has died after a U-2 plane crashed near the Sutter Buttes on Tuesday.

A second pilot was injured. That pilot’s condition is unknown.

UPDATE: A U-2 Dragon Lady spy plane has crashed in Sutter County.

The crash happened shortly after takeoff at around 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The Air Force and Beale Air Force Base have both confirmed the crash and that two pilots ejected. Their condition is unknown.

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

A grass fire broke out at the scene of the crash. CBS13’s cameras captured the scene.

Credit: CBS13

Credit: CBS13

Investigators have found a parachute near the scene of the crash


The crash comes just over 20 years after a U-2 spy plane crashed in Oroville. The Aug. 7, 1996 crash killed the pilot, Capt. Randy Roby and a customer who was in the parking lot of the Oroville Mercury-Register newspaper.


10:30 a.m. UPDATE: 

Macy Jenkins is live on her way to the scene.

10:07 a.m. UPDATE: A U-2 spy plane has crashed in Sutter County, but both of the pilots were able to eject safely, according to the U.S. Air Force.


10 a.m. UPDATE: A spokesperson for Beale Air Force Base says they are gathering information about what happened and -will have a statement later.


The CBS13 Sutter Buttes tower cam has picked up video of a grass fire near where the crash happened. Several jets have been seen flying in and out of the picture.


SUTTER COUNTY (CBS13) — A military airplane has crashed in Sutter County.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the plane crash that happened on Tuesday morning and has referred all comment to Beale Air Force Base.

Beale has not commented on the crash.

We’ll have more on this developing story on the CBS13 News at Noon.

Comments (14)
  1. wonder if the plane will evaporate like the pentagon and shanksville….

  2. Coy Coleman says:

    60 year old plane… Probably worn out.

    1. SmithAwakened says:

      Air frame fatigue is a serious concern, that’s for sure. Service life capacities on many different fighters have been in question for some time now. Then again, those are high-tolerance necessities. Not sure what a U-2 is expected to endure. Certainly not 11 G turns.

      1. Shawn French says:

        The U2’s only defense is altitude, it always takes off under full thrust at an amazing climb rate. It’s amazing to watch when they are practicing touch and goes. Prayers for the pilots, and gratitude for their service.

  3. SmithAwakened says:

    Hmm…I wonder why my comment got edited.

  4. asdasd says:

    headed west from BAFB..

  5. Berzrkr50 says:

    This really surprises m;. The U-2 has an excellent safety record!

  6. CaptVydEarthBound says:

    My Respect to a fallen Brother in Arms (and Wings). Prayers for the families and the injured pilot.

  7. iambicpentamaster says:

    U-2 crashed and burned.

    Tuesday, bloody Tuesday…

  8. John Q Dallas says:

    Unfortunately, the true safety record of the U-2 is classified above your paygrade, Col. Broadwell.

  9. The U2 is a 50+ years-old design. Amazing they are still flying.

  10. Mark Wilcox says:

    Hey SmithAwakened, if the U-2 is pulling 11 Gs then you have access to classified information that the rest of us don’t have, or, you have no idea what you are talking about. I think it is the latter because the U-2 is not a fighter.

    God’s peace to the family of the fallen pilot during this time of loss.

  11. Watch the canopy, Goose! says:

    They roll the dice when they need to eject. Props to the brave pilots.

  12. We’re still using these old relics? I thought the Blackbird was supposed to replace them and they shelved it. HUH

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s