U-2 Suffered Mechanical Failure

The Air Force said that a “catastrophic cascading series of events”—mechanical and human—led to the June 22 crash of a high-flying U-2 reconnaissance in Southwest Asia. Pilot Maj. Duane Dively was killed. Brig. Gen. Thomas Andersen, head of the accident investigation board, called the situation “extremely challenging,” one never seen in a U-2 before. The aircraft’s power-takeoff shaft failed, causing loss of electrical power feeding cockpit displays and hydraulics as Dively was heading in for a landing in the United Arab Emirates after a 17-hour mission over Afghanistan. Dively, who was one of the most experienced pilots flying a U-2, had 63 seconds to control the situation and attempted to run multiple check lists when the aircraft crashed. Andersen said, “We just know he did the best he could with this situation.”