Updated 12:10 pm, Tuesday, September 20, 2016
A U-2 military spy plane crashed Tuesday morning in Sutter County after two pilots ejected from the cockpit, U.S. Air Force officials said.
Officials at Beale Air Force Base east of Marysville — where the two-seat training plane was from — didn’t immediately have further information, saying only that the plane went down about 9 a.m. shortly after takeoff.
The plane was in the middle of a training exercise, said Brooke Brzozowske, a spokeswoman for the Air Force.
The crash happened in the area of West Butte and Pass roads, according to KCRA, in the Sutter Buttes, a remote area of volcanic domes formed about 1.5 million years ago. The crash site is about 50 miles north of Sacramento.
The Air Combat Command tweeted that the area isn’t populated and that initial reports indicated the pilots landed safely, but later said there wasn’t confirmation on the pilots’ conditions.
The last U-2 plane that crashed out of Beale was in 1996, when the aircraft landed in a busy commercial area of Oroville, killing the pilot and a person on the ground.
U-2s can reach speeds in excess of 400 mph and fly as high as 70,000 feet, or more than 13 miles.