On a bright Sunday afternoon at a mythical place called “Flying Crown Ranch,” a motorcycle superstar was treated to the ride of his life. That’s saying a lot when you consider the latest passenger in Chambliss’ two-seat Red Bull EDGE was supercross and freestyle motocross icon Travis Pastrana.
World renowned aerobatic pilot Kirby Chambliss did not have to go far to get Travis up in the air. His home outside Phoenix, Arizona is equipped with a runway just feet from his backdoor. His “garage,” is really a mini-hangar housing several airplanes, including the single-seat EDGE he flew to win his fifth U.S. Aerobatic Championship in 2005. Chambliss is the only pilot to ever win this title five times.
While Pastrana is more used to being inverted on a bike, (his latest move is a double-backflip), he was not ready for this ride. Chambliss is an aggressive pilot who thinks nothing of pulling up to 8 positive and negative G-forces, but he took it down a notch for the new guy. Pastrana's still had a high-G ride that included tumbles, inverted fly-bys and a precision maneuver called a “snap-turn,” where the 360-degree rotation is over before one can blink. Chambliss didn’t hold back.
Chambliss loves to share this unique experience with others, especially motorsports athletes who are amazed at his talent in an airplane. Like Pastrana, Chambliss competes in a race series that features the top athletes in his sport. The Red Bull Air Race World Series takes place at 10 locations in nine different countries during the 2006 season. It resembles slalom racing in the air as competitors race against the clock while flying through a course of air-filled pylons just 500 feet from spectators while performing required aerobatic maneuvers at speeds topping 200 mph.
AMA Supecross announcer Erin Bates also took a spin with Kirby. She matched everything Pastrana did and must have guts of steel from being on TV all the time, because she looked just as good exiting the plane as when she got in.