We moved some film from an undisclosed location to another undisclosed location back in 97. We got a tour of the facility and one of the crew got to ride in the chase vehicle. After they landed and the dude got out, they took a sponge and some water and washed off the UN markings and it left a few hours later on a DoD mission. Was a very cool trip!
Yes, you can Q-3 for stuff like that. With that being said, the difference between a perfect school house landing and one that goes off the runway can be the difference in one foot of altitude, 1 degree of crab or 1 knot of airspeed. You are crazy close at all times.
Most of these videos clips are of interview sorties where we are trying to assess the interviewee's ability to land perfectly straight, perfectly on center line and tail wheel first with wings level and no drift. By the third interview sortie, an interviewee who gets hired does all of these things simultaneously. The first sortie, however, they usually do none of the above tasks properly and we can get some spectacular footage. The guys we don't hire, can't consistently do the tasks simultaneously and we get great video even on the third sortie.
BTW, it looks way worse from inside the cockpit.
Flying the U-2 is a big challenge and until you've tried, you just don't get it.
Actually, not a single aircraft that's been a writeoff was due to a landing accident like these. One aircraft, back in 1090, got sideways and hit the big concrete BAK-9 housing on the side of the runway. The gear collapsed, the engine came off the mounts, and it was heavily damaged. It was taken apart, but in a C-141, and flown to Palmdale. It sat there a few years, and finally the USAF decided it needed another 2-seater, and it was repaired and converted into a 2-seater.