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Red Bull Air Race Spielberg, Day One

Kirby and Jason arrived in Salzburg, Austria, a few days early to work on upcoming modifications. While they won’t be seen during the race in Spielberg, the team is working hard in conjunction with Microsoft and Kansas University to debut the new changes at Kirby’s home race in Ft. Worth, Texas. Due to the early arrival, Kirby was also able to take some time to tour of the countryside with local pilot Hannes Arch in his helicopter.

“I’ve always thought it would be neat to fly a helicopter, so it was good fun to take a ride with Hannes!”

The team then moved to Spielberg for the first official day of the race. The weather was forecasted to be quite rainy for day one, so they weren’t sure if it would be possible to ferry the race plane into the Red Bull Ring. Luckily, though, the weather cleared enough mid-morning and Kirby was able to bring it in! The remainder of the day was spent setting up the hangar and preparing the plane for training rounds tomorrow!

 

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Red Bull Air Race Ascot, Race Day

It was another beautiful day in Ascot, perfect for Race Day! Kirby spent his morning preparing for the Round of 14 against England’s local, Nigel Lamb. It was looking good for Kirby after Lamb received a 2-second penalty for flying too high through a gate five. With a clean run, Kirby would progress forward. The team watched anxiously as his sector times remained green, but Kirby finished just .543 seconds behind Lamb after he, too, received a 2-second penalty for flying too high through gate 11.

Kirby and the team have had a tough run this season, but are still moving forward. Talk of plans for airplane modifications have been circling for a while now, and the team is excited to share that those plans have progressed! Although there is still need for further testing, they are hopeful to debut new winglets in Spielberg, Austria, September 5th and 6th.

For a full list of race day results, see below:

  • 1. Paul Bonhomme
  • 2. Matt Hall
  • 3. Yoshihide Muroya
  • 4. Nicolas Ivanoff
  • 5. Nigel Lamb
  • 6. Peter Besenyei
  • 7. Martin Sonka
  • 8. Hannes Arch
  • 9. Michael Goulian
  • 10. Matthias Dolderer
  • 11. Juan Velarde
  • 12. Kirby Chambliss
  • 13. Pete Mcleod
  • 14. Francois Le Vot
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Red Bull Air Race Ascot, Qualifying Day

The team awoke to blue and sunny skies, a perfect setting for qualifying day. Not only was it qualifying day, though; it was also the first time pilots were able to race through the track. Each pilot was allotted just three minutes, making every turn and movement critical!

As expected, track times were a bit slower during training as the pilots familiarized themselves with the track. Kirby’s fastest training run was 1:09:376. He was able to shave off time in the qualifying round, placing 7th overall with a time of 1:08:22. He will fly head-to-head with local pilot Nigel Lamb, who placed 8th with a time of 1:08:22.

See below the full list of head-to-head pairings for Race Day’s Round of 14:

Heat 1: Matthias Dolderer v. Yoshihide Muroya

Heat 2: Francois Le Vot v. Peter Besenyei

Heat 3: Michael Goulian v. Nicolas Ivanoff

Heat 4: Juan Velarde v. Martin Sonka

Heat 5: Nigel Lamb v. Kirby Chambliss

Heat 6: Pete McLeod v. Matt Hall

Heat 7: Hannes Arch v. Paul Bonhomme

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Red Bull Air Race Ascot, Day Two

As forecasted, Day Two was another day of rain, fog, and little flying. There was a slight break in weather during the early afternoon that allowed pilots to ferry the planes to Ascot. However, the rain came back and proved it was there to stay just as the first pilot began to train; all flying was cancelled.

It wasn’t a day wasted, though. Jason and Rick focused on the team’s newest project – winglets! Although they will not be making their debut in Ascot, the team is expecting them to be ready for Austria. The team also enjoyed spending time with a special visitor! Friend and fellow aerobatic pilot, Melissa Pemberton, stopped by for the afternoon to take a peek behind the scenes. It was great to catch up!

After two days of no practice, all teams are hoping for some better weather moving forward to tomorrow. Ticket holders can expect only one round of training before the Qualifying Round!

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Red Bull Air Race Ascot, Day One

Rain showers and gloomy skies stole the show on Day One in Ascot. While the plan to ferry the race planes into the venue fell flat, the team enjoyed time catching up with fellow competitors and sharing news of their activities between the races. In addition, they welcomed Rick Rogahn of Microsoft to the team who will focus on course analysis and optimization. With rain forecasted for Day Two, all teams are hoping for enough sun to move the planes from a local airport to the Ascot Racetrack and some time to practice the track!

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An Inside Look at the Team Communications Coordinator

When we first introduced Kayla Layton as our new Team Communications Coordinator in December of 2014, we had a lot of interest in what all the job entailed. Now that she has had a chance to settle in, we thought it would be a good time to sit down and ask Kayla about the position through her eyes.

 

Q: The team had some large events in July, tell us about those?

KL: The team spent the first week of July in Budapest for the fourth stop of the 2015 Red Bull Air Races. As with all races, the competition is high and the team is extremely busy with full schedules leading up to the two big days, Qualifying and Race Day. We finished the month with air shows at AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI, and the Global Rally Cross in Detroit, MI.

Q: How far in advance does the planning process begin for an air race?

KL: I start preparing as early as a few months in advance with flight booking and hotel arrangements for the team. As they get closer, I start receiving schedules and map out how the week will go.

Q: What about an air show the size of AirVenture at Oshkosh?

KL: With an air show like AirVenture, preparations can begin almost a year in advance. There is a lot of schedule coordinating that happens along the way, not only with the team’s schedule, but with our sponsors as well.

Q: Who do you work closest with in order to make the necessary preparations?

KL: For both types of events, staying in constant communication with the team is a top priority to ensure all needs are met in regards to schedules and travel amenities. For the air races, I work most directly with the Race Teams Coordinator and Scheduler. Alternatively, for air shows and events like AirVenture, most communications are with the event coordinator and our team sponsors.

Q: What does a typical day look like when at one of these events?

KL: A book could be written about all the tiny details that happen at these events! At the races, I’m constantly watching for schedule updates to make sure everyone is where they need to be. There is obviously a lot of flying that occurs every day, but outside of flying, there are many meetings that are fit into the schedule: technician meetings, pilot’s briefing/debriefings, team coordinator meetings. Add in hangar walks, reviewing of time sheets/video footage, autograph signings, and meals, and the team is fully booked!

Unlike the races where the schedule details are somewhat consistent, each air show is a bit different. While practice flights are a given for all shows, some events include coordinating interviews with media. At others, Kirby will spend time at sponsor booths meeting fellow aviation enthusiasts from across the globe. Sometimes we do all of this and then some!

Q: We’ve heard a lot about the air races and air shows. What do you do when you aren’t at one of these events?

KL: Preparing for events and managing all team member’s schedules is a large portion of what I do, but I am also a main point of contact for our sponsors and media partners.

For example, I spend a lot of time working with GoPro and our cameras. We put an average of four cameras on the airplane almost every flight, which produces a TON of footage! A fifteen-minute flight alone produces over 450 photos per camera! I then go through and pick out the best photos of the bunch to share on social media channels and/or use for promotional purposes.

In addition to my personal tasks, the team as a whole is involved in many activities outside of air shows and the air races. Working with sponsors often has Kirby giving rides to media members and celebrities. We’ve worked on projects with the Red Bull Air Force skydiving team, and even given talks to elementary school children to promote general aviation. In between all the scheduled activities, we spend time at the Flying Crown Ranch supporting Kirby as he practices and hones his skills.

No matter the time of year, we are always up to something; our social media channels are the best way to stay updated on all the different things the team partakes in!

 

 

 

 

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AirVenture 2015!

Incredible! Team Chambliss had an awesome time at AirVenture 2015!

We had the opportunity to connect with our long time friends, extended family and meet new friends too! Kirby visited many booths, did several interviews, signed lots of autographs and even ate a few brats!

The Team worked with Frank Frassetto this year as the Team Intern, and enjoyed celebrating Frank’s 20th Birthday! It’s so important to give young pilots a chance to experience an event as exceptional as AirVenture!

Only at Oshkosh, where there is something for everyone! Many thanks to all of our sponsors!

 

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Pilot Bio

Kirby Chambliss
Kirby Chambliss
Years on Team: 20

History:

- Five time winner of the U.S. national aerobatic championship. - Current residence: Flying Crown Ranch, AZ - He is one of the best aerobatic pilots in the world. - One of only two American pilots ever to win the Red Bull Air Race world championship. - Flown more than 70 types of aircraft and logged over 26,000 hours ( that's three years!) in the air.