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U-2 flights to resume as dead pilot’s family asks for support

Beale commander: 'You will be whole again'

Col. Larry Broadwell addresses airmen in the wake of U-2 crash. Flights out of Beale expected to resume Friday, Sept. 23.
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Col. Larry Broadwell addresses airmen in the wake of U-2 crash. Flights out of Beale expected to resume Friday, Sept. 23.

U-2 flights in and out of Beale Air Force Base will resume Friday, three days after one of the $400 million spy planes crashed in the Sutter Buttes shortly after takeoff Tuesday.

Lt. Col Ira S. Eadie, a Florida native and father of six, was killed after ejecting from the crash plane. A second pilot suffered non-life-threatening injuries and is recovering at a local hospital.

The Air Force has offered no explanation for the crash, which remains under investigation. The base put a hold on flying training missions locally in order to respond to the incident, but base officials stressed in a news release that the plane continues to play a vital role in national security.

“Our ability to fly missions in support of commanders has not been impacted by the recent crash. We continue to carry out our mission of providing high altitude (surveillance),” said Col. Larry Broadwell.

The deceased pilot’s family is asking for support through a Youcaring.com crowdfunding campaign. The campaign had been shared 6,500 times and raised $52,470 of its $100,000 goal.

Eadie, who went by the nickname “Shooter,” had recently become a grandfather.

“Funds from this effort will go directly to the family to help with travel expenses, unforeseen funeral cost and the children’s college funds,” the donation page says. “Supporting the Eadie family with your generous donation will ease the short and long term financial burdens his family now faces.”

Air Force officials said the military will support the family, but were unable to provide details.

An aircraft assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base and on a training mission went down on the lower slopes of the Sutter Buttes on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, causing a 250-acre fire. Two pilots ejected, but one was kille

Col. Larry Broadwell, Commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale, gave tribute to the U-2 program at a news conference at the base Tuesday afternoon. He described the day as an emotional one.

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