Axel - where did you get a copy of our pre-test plan for last weekend?
You nailed pretty much the reasons we had on paper
for having a chase plane. Of course, you and I are both used to doing flight testing in a team environment. You have to have faith in your team to make it worthwhile!
If a person plans to stay in radio and visual (not to mention gliding) range of the airport, many of these reasons go away, and many first flights are conducted safely without them. if you aren't trained in the use of a chase, and can't practice with one, then you might very well be safer without one. For our test flights last weekend, we did mission-specific training to know what we were going to do. It paid off well for the plan we used.
Just don't feel pressure to have a chase plane "because other guys do it" or worse, just because you have someone who is excited about doing it. Have good, solid rationale for everything you are going to do in your test program.
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)