1 Air Force Pilot Killed, 1 Hurt in Spy Plane Crash in Calif. U-2 spy plane crashed in Sutter Buttes mountain range By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Sep 20, 2016 4:04 PM CDT 16 comments Comments The wreckage of a U-2 spy plane that crashed after taking off from Beale Air Force Base on a training mission in Northern California, is seen Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee via AP) (Newser) – The US Air Force says one pilot was killed and another injured when they ejected from a U-2 spy plane shortly before it crashed in Northern California, the AP reports. Military officials say the aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Beale Air Force Base on a training mission around 9am Tuesday. The Air Force did not release the pilots' names or any information about the condition of the surviving airman. The aircraft was assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance squadron. It crashed in the Sutter Buttes, a mountain range about 60 miles north of Sacramento. The U-2 is a surveillance and reconnaissance plane capable of flying at extremely high altitudes. It gathers imagery and electronic signals for intelligence analysts and battlefield commanders.