1 Pilot Dead After Ejecting From US Spy Plane in Calif. | NBC 6 South Florida
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1 Pilot Dead After Ejecting From US Spy Plane in Calif.

Beale Air Force Base is home to the Air Force's fleet of single-seat U-2s and a double-seat variant used for training pilots

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    KNVN
    Wreckage from a fatal plane crash involving a U-2 military aircraft in Northern California (Sept. 20, 2016).

    One pilot is dead after a United States Air Force aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff Tuesday morning roughly 50 miles north of Sacramento, according to the Beale Air Force Base in California.

    Before the U-2 plane went down in the Sutter Buttes shortly after 9:05 a.m., the two pilots onboard ejected from the aircraft, Airmen Tristan D. Viglianco said.

    The condition of the second pilot, who did sustain injuries, is unknown at this time, Viglianco said.

    Authorities are investigating the crash, the base said. Further information was not immediately available.

    The U-2 "Dragon Lady" is a surveillance and reconnaissance plane capable of flying above 70,000 feet, twice as high as a typical commercial airliner flies, but is known as one of the most difficult aircraft to fly at low altitudes due to the characteristics that allow it to travel near space, according to an Air Force fact sheet.

    Beale Air Force Base is home to the Air Force's fleet of single-seat U-2s and a double-seat variant used for training pilots to fly the specialized aircraft.