We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

One Dead In U-2 Spy Plane Crash At Sutter Buttes

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A California Highway Patrol helicopter drops water on a fire caused by the crash of a U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane in the Sutter Butte Mountains, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, near Yuba City, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

UPDATED: The Sutter County Fire Department says a plane crashed into the Sutter Buttes at about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The U.S. Air Force initally reported both pilots on board the aircraft ejected. Officials later sent out a release saying that one pilot died. The other pilot sustained injuries. 

The first call to dispatchers was received at 9:09 a.m. Fire crews are on scene to fight the brush fire that started as a result of the crash.

The airplane originated out of Beale Air Force Base outside of Marysville. The base is about 40 miles east of the crash.

The Buttes are the jagged 2,000-foot high remains of a volcano that erupted more than a million years ago.

Beale is home to the U-2 Lady Dragon and the RQ-4 Global Hawk.

The plane that crashed was assigned to 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, Beale Air Force Base, California and was on a training mission.

In August 1996, another U-2 plane crashed in Oroville. The pilot and a person on the ground were killed.


We can confirm a U-2 from @9thRW Beale AFB has gone down in Sutter County, CA; 2 pilots have ejected; details to follow when available

— USAF Pressdesk (@usafpressdesk) September 20, 2016


-Capital Public Radio Staff

Sign up for ReCap

and never miss the top stories

Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

Check out a sample ReCap newsletter.