Kayla Layton became passionate about aviation just after high school when her uncle took her for her first flight in his Experimental Cozy. From that point on, being on the ground wasn’t nearly as exciting as being in the air! She began taking flying lessons at 18, but had to put them on hold to finish paying for college.
While finishing her degrees at Arizona State University, Kayla quenched her thirst for the sky by enjoying weekend flights to breakfast at various airports around the state with her uncle, meeting many passionate aviators along the way. After graduating in 2014, she began pursuing flying lessons again and is now in the final stages of completing her private pilot’s certificate.
As the newest team member to Team Chambliss, she begins her role as Team Communications Coordinator with great enthusiasm. Some of her major responsibilities are managing the team’s schedules at the Red Bull Air Races, social media, sponsor & media relations, and providing extra help wherever the team may need it.
Outside of working with the team, Kayla spends most of her free time flying. When not in the air, she enjoys dancing and hiking.
The third race of this year’s World Championship will be staged in Rovinj, Croatia, on 30-31 May. The stop in Rovinj will replace Sochi, Russia, which unfortunately cannot be conducted due to financial and organisational challenges.
The eight-stop 2015 Red Bull Air Race World Championship began in Abu Dhabi in February and is now preparing for the first ever stop in Chiba, Japan. After Rovinj, Croatia the remaining races will be held in Budapest, Hungary, (4-5 July), Ascot, United Kingdom (15-16 August), Spielberg, Austria (5-6 September), Fort Worth, Texas, USA (26-27 September), and Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (17-18 October).
Your go to site for all things air race…www.redbullairrace.com!
Having a father and a grandfather who were both pilots, there was no question on what Grant Groathouse would strive to achieve as he grew up. He began fueling at Chandler Municipal airport in high school to fund his love for flight, and received his private pilot certificate at the age of 17. He continued his training and received multiple ratings, including instrument, commercial, and flight instructor. Working alongside close friend Jason Resop, Grant also met Kirby during this time.
While Jason began his new position with Team Chambliss, Grant attended Arizona State University and received a degree in Aeronautical Management. Showing interest in helping Jason with Kirby’s plane, he was asked to join the team as a Ferry Pilot. He continues to help Jason with maintenance on all airplanes when needed and joins the team at air shows and Red Bull Air Races when available.
After achieving advanced ratings, Grant became a pilot for Allegiant Airlines and has been with the company for eight years. He enjoys working as a commercial pilot while getting to travel across the United States.
When he is not working for the airlines or the team, Grant spends his time recreational flying, traveling, and playing club hockey with friends.
Kirby Chambliss, Nigel Lamb and Pete McLeod, exploring Abu Dhabi at the RedBull AirRace! Photo by Joerg Mitter
With the first stop of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race season complete, Team Chambliss (TC) didn’t get the start that it was hoping for. Kirby lost his canopy while in the holding area over Lulu Island and was unable to race. After returning from Abu Dhabi, the team sat down with Kirby to ask a few questions and get his perspective on the first race of the season.
TC: Kirby, you had a great week in Training and then Qualified 4th. What were you expecting on race day?
KC: “I was expecting a great finish after a great week of training. I was expecting to make the podium.”
TC: You were in the hold over Lulu Island when your canopy departed. What was your initial thought?
KC: “I won’t be able to race! I was super disappointed!!
TC: You have been called lucky many times. Do you think you’re lucky?
KC: “No, not really…I guess I’m sort of lucky. Not lucky because it happened, but lucky because it could have been worse!”
TC: Have you ever been afraid? Flying or otherwise?
KC: “I have been afraid! My daughter Karly was 18 months old and I was letting her taste watermelon and she swallowed it and started choking. I was seriously afraid, because I didn’t know what to do. My wife grabbed her, turned her over and patted her back. Next thing you know, out came the piece of watermelon and Karly started crying. That was a helpless feeling!”
TC: Anything you want to share with us about the upcoming race in Japan?
KC: “I am looking forward to Japan! I performed there as part of the World Grand Prix in the late 90’s, and really enjoyed the people and the country! Of course, I’ll have a new canopy and ready to go for it!”