Video: Global Hawk drone take-off from chase car at Beale Air Force Base

Although the footage is a bit bumpy, it provides a cool point of view: that of an RQ-4 Global Hawk spyplane’s chase car during the huge drone take off from Beale Air Force Base, California, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing.

Chase cars are a safety measure used during take off and landing phases in order to give pilots assistance: highly trained pilot in those cars act as ground-based wingmen for the remote (or actual) pilots talking them through runway operations.

They are particularly useful when the size of the aircraft (either manned or unmanned) is such that the pilot’s view is obstructed by the airframe itself or there’s a risk of hitting any ground obstacle with a wingtip during taxi.

The U-2 Dragon Lady is the most famous aircraft assisted by a chase car during take-offs and landings.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.