The final race of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race Season is just around the corner this upcoming weekend! With the race plane undergoing a lot of modifications over the previous couple of weeks, we thought it would be a great time to get to know the man behind the maintenance – long time technician Jason Resop.
Q: How long have you worked for Team Chambliss?
JR: Twelve years now!
Q: Were you originally hired on as a team technician?
JR: No, when I was hired on, I was hired strictly as a ferry pilot.
Q: What made you want to be a mechanic? How did you make the transition from strictly a ferry pilot to the team technician?
JR: Anytime the planes were being worked on I was just always out there with everyone else constantly learning. About six years into it, they required the technicians to have an A&P. By that time, I had accrued quite a bit of hours working on them so I went and applied for my A&P and became certified.
Q: What are your main duties in your current position with the team?
JR: I am in charge of all of the airplanes, not only our working airplanes but a couple fun ones as well. There’s about eight of them now. I make sure that they are mechanically sound and move them around the world to wherever they need to be.
Q: What is it like working on planes in different parts of the world? Any complications when doing the Red Bull Air Races?
JR: Yeah, being on the road is always harder than being at home because you can bring everything and you always don’t have something! It’s much easier to get certain things at home than anywhere else.
Q: What is the biggest challenge of maintaining the race plane?
JR: The modifications are definitely hard. Trying to make the plane faster while being ahead of everyone else is tough because it’s never home. That’s the hardest part. We don’t have much time with it so the time we do have is really valuable.
Q: Going back to your ferry flights, what do you do to the plane to transition it from race mode to flying cross country?
JR: The main thing I do is make sure that the fuel tanks in the wings are hooked up. Sometimes I disconnect them during the races and take the sumps out to make the plane more aerodynamic. I also remove the telemetry system to make room for luggage, but that’s really about it. There’s not a whole lot to change.
Q: What is in your ferry flight kit?
JR: I can almost take the entire airplane apart with my ferry flight kit. Aside from really big parts, I have just about anything I would need. I’ve bee stuck before and there’s no one there to help you.
Q: Do you have a tool that you can’t go anywhere without?
JR: Screwdriver, for sure!
Q: Do you have a favorite plane to work on out of Kirby’s fleet? If so, why?
JR: I’d have to say the airshow plane. Why, I’m not sure! I just really enjoy it.
Q: You’ve been with the team for twelve years now. How many hours have you spent flying in the edges?
JR: I have a lot! I’d say upwards to 2000 hours in twelve years! [That’s about 83 straight days of flying!]