U-2 makes Mildenhall emergency landing

A Lockheed Martin U-2S Dragon Lady, tail number 68-10337 (c/n 059), and callsign, ‘Legit 01’, made an emergency landing at RAF Mildenhall, gliding in after engine failure on August 10.

The U-2S from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing's (RW's) 99th Reconnaissance Squadron had been on a test flight from RAF Fairford after engine maintenance. During the flight, the pilot declared an in-flight emergency to air traffic control and made an emergency landing at 1107hrs local time without the chase cars normally used for a U-2 landing. Chase cars are used for the Dragon Lady because its nose is so long the pilot has difficulty seeing the runway.

U-2 Emergency Landing [Stewart Jack]
Lockheed Martin U-2S Dragon Lady, tail number 68-10337 (c/n 059), was photographed on approach to RAF Mildenhall on August 10, 2020. Stewart Jack

RAF Mildenhall confirmed to Key.Aero that the U-2 had diverted to the air base, it said: "I can confirm that a U2 landed safely after diverting to Mildenhall yesterday and there were no injuries. I don’t have any further details at this time."

The USAF announced in September last year that U-2 Dragon Lady aircraft assigned to the 9th RW at Beale Air Force Base in California had deployed to RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, UK. The USAF said in its 2019 statement: "The mission of the U-2 is to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in order to meet combatant commander objectives. The deployment of ISR assets to the European [theatre] demonstrates U.S. commitment to our allies and partners in the region."