As Pravda earlier reported, a U.S. U-2 spy plane crashed in southwestern Asia on Tuesday night, the pilot of the plane died in the crash. At first, U.S. Central Command said in a statement, that the spy plane crashed in southwest Asia, but didn’t specify the location of the crash because of security reasons.
But several hours later an anonymous a Pentagon official said, that the U-2 crashed in the Emirates while approaching the base to land, reports AP. Early reports gave no indication of any hostile fire, but it is too soon to be certain why it crashed, the official said.
In Washington, Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, said the plane had completed a mission related to Operation Enduring Freedom, the code name for American operations in Afghanistan.
There has been heavy fighting in southern Afghanistan in recent days, with American fighter planes bombarding rebel hideouts with missiles and bombs, killing up to 76 insurgents in fighting Tuesday and Wednesday.
A U.S. security team was at the site of the crash, Venable said.
The only thing about the pilot mentioned in the Central Command’s statement shows that he served in the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. The airmen of the wing “mourn the loss of a true American hero in the service of his country”, Colonel Darryl Burke, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, said in the statement.
The U2 Spy Plane has one the highest mission completion rates in the U.S. Air Force despite the fact that the aircraft is the most difficult to fly due to its unusually challenging takeoff and landing characteristics. Due to its high-altitude mission, the pilot must wear a full pressure suit. The U2 Spy Plane is a single-seat, single-engine, high-altitude, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
Long, narrow, straight wings give the U-2 glider-like characteristics and allow it to lift heavy sensor payloads to unmatched high altitudes quickly, and keep them there for a long time. The U-2 Spy Plane is capable of collecting multi-sensor photo, electro-optic, infrared and radar imagery, as well as collecting signals intelligence data. It can down link all data, except wet film, in near real-time to anywhere in the world, providing war planners with the latest intelligence possible, informs Militaryfactory.com.