Two U.S. Air Force pilots ejected as a U-2 spy plane crashed around noon local time during a training mission on the West Coast, a service spokesman said.
Lt. Col. Michael Meridith, a spokesman for the Air Force, confirmed the incident Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference outside Washington, D.C., but he didn’t know the location or condition of the service members.
“It did crash,” he said when asked if the plane went down. “Two pilots ejected.”
Meridith said a search and rescue operation for the pilots was underway.
The Air Force press desk later tweeted, “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,” referring to the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.
The U-2 Dragon Lady is a Cold War-era surveillance plane based at Beale Air Force Base in California. Trainer models of the aircraft hold two crew members. The Air Force as of this year had 33 of the aircraft in the inventory, including five trainers, according to a fact sheet.