As I write this update, Kirby is on his way back to Arizona. Thirty hours and three flights later, he’ll be home. Team Chambliss is still in Croatia beginning to disassemble the airplane for the trip to Malaysia. Kirby and the rest of the Team have worked very hard, incredibly long hours to make this week happen.
Here is what Kirby had to say about today’s pylon hit on the number five gate…”It’s going to be catch up, but I don’t have any excuses. It’s little bit windy out there. I was trying to run fast… I’m really disappointed, my team worked really hard to get the plane ready but it’s all on me out there on the track.”
Signing off from the Red Bull Air Race in Croatia 2014!
Red Bull Air Race Qualifying Day came and went, lots packed into one day. The pilots had two training sessions of five minutes each and also had their two qualifying runs. Kirby was pleased with his first qualifying run and was disqualified on his second run for exceeding the entry speed. This left him in seventh place overall and is confident he can make the super eight tomorrow. Due to the new format Kirby will be facing Yoshi tomorrow in the first head to head heat.
For everyone outside the United States, the race will be live on redbullairrace.com, and can be caught on Fox Sports 1 in the USA. Kirby will be the first to fly tomorrow, don’t forget to tune in!
Team Chambliss found training day very interesting! Kirby was so excited to finally be able to fly the course after a week of building, testing, calibration flights, meetings, interviews and water training! Whew!
Kirby did a fantastic job today and made clean runs that many pilots did not. The down side is that one of the gates will be moved for qualifying tomorrow. The gate will be moved overnight and each pilot will have a chance at the track, several times before qualification. The Team was bummed, because this was going to be a huge advantage for Kirby. Kirby has seen the new layout and feels great about it! One thing for sure, this will be an exciting race!
Day three in Croatia and the Team is finally beginning to acclimate to the time change, must be time to go home! Kirby had three test flights today and they all went great! Jason came up with a new inlet design which would have been awesome, but didn’t work out as planned. Temps were too high on the cylinders and we had to move to Plan B. Great effort and thanks for all the hard work Jason!
The plane is flying great and the Team is excited to see Kirby’s run through the track! Tomorrow is a very busy day for everyone!
By the way, we had a photo shoot today and Kirby is excited to share some of these shots with you! Stay tuned!
Day two in Croatia and we were off to an early start! The Team met for breakfast and we all left the hotel together in the speed boat headed to the airport. Jason and Danny finished up the airplane, got ready for the test flight, but wait a minute, Houston we have a problem! The fuel truck that carries 100LL actually had Jet A in it…..To make a long story short, there was no Av-gas at the airport. Thankfully, Matthias had flown his personal plane into Rovinj, so all the teams siphoned fuel out the wings and had enough fuel to get their test flights done. We tend to be very resourceful!
Kirby flew over the track and was happy that it was a bit more challenging than the course in Abu Dhabi. Although he still really misses the quatro from the previous years. The Team was happy with the test flight and we’re pumped about this race and hoping for excellent results! By the way, thanks for all the great support!
This evening we all enjoyed the BBQ dinner with everyone at Air Race! Day two has come and gone, time flies when your having fun! Till tomorrow….
Our first day came and went in Croatia. The entire team is still getting use to the time change which is a nine hour difference from our homes in Arizona. Jason, Stan and Danny headed out to the airport early getting the airplane put together while Kirby went to his underwater training.
Kirby did multiple water training tests in a modified MXS airplane cockpit. He would be placed in the cockpit, in the water, upside down in a pool and the rescue team would rescue him. Kirby had to wait for 45 seconds, which he said felt like forever, while water filled the cockpit. Imagine that! Kirby said that his scuba experience really helped!
The crew at the airport made great progress today, both wing and tail are on, and the plane should be ready to fly tomorrow after a few minor checks.
The hotel we are staying at is on an island, which means that we use a ferry service to reach the mainland. It sure will be nice to get a good night’s sleep! Team Chambliss signing off for now!
Will you #CatchKirby? September 6th and 7th at the Texas Motor Speedway, the Red Bull Air Race is coming to town! www.redbullairrace.com
Kirby and the Red Bull Air Force at the Flying Crown Ranch, Red Bull Air Force Training Camp! Loaded with adrenaline, creativity and high flying excitement! Photo by Michael Clark
Kirby and his Crew Chief, Jason Resop, are out for a joy ride! Photo courtesy of the GoPro Hero3!
Race day found the Team sleeping a little later with the race not starting until 3:30pm local. Kirby went for a run this morning before going out to do a quick test flight. The plane was running rough yesterday and Jason had cleaned the plugs and made some adjustments. All was well and then off to the pilot briefing, shaking a few media and sponsors’ hands and then settling down to think about the game plan. Soon it was time to race! Kirby was third to go and ready to rock! Toward the end of his run, the judges called him high and added a +2 second penalty to his score, which put him out of the Super 8. Kirby and the entire Team are disappointed! Kirby felt like he had a good run and with his tremendous personality and positive outlook, he is already looking forward to racing in beautiful Croatia.
Kirby has five more events before he leaves for the next race. The first one in Las Vegas, preshow for NASCAR.
The rest of the Team will stay one more day to disassemble the plane and get it packed up and ready to ship to Croatia. We have all worked hard and had some fun in the beautiful city of Abu Dhabi. We want to thank everyone for a huge show of support! We would like to congratulate Paul Bonhomme on a race well run!
As always, stay tuned, there is more to come!
Check out some our our favorite photos from the first Red Bull Air Race of 2014!