With the retirement of the T-2, VX-20 is transitioning to the C-38 Courier to serve as chase aircraft
, radar test targets and pilot proficiency aircraft.
Capt Aaron and his chase aircraft
proceeded to RTB to a visual approach and landed uneventfully.
That sees two pilot astronauts in SpaceShip Two, another two in WhiteKnight Two, one in the chase aircraft
and one in mission control.
Another move designed to boost morale was to supply chase aircraft
to Predator squadrons to keep pilots in the cockpit skills relatively up to date, says Hasik.
A GPWS "save" was documented in an Approach magazine's August 2001 article, "Seeing the Desert at 70 Feet." The FA-18 pilot, flying as chase aircraft
, received a GPWS warning and performed a maximum-performance pullout, bottoming out at 420 knots and 70 feet above the terrain.