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Red Bull pilot navigates through hot air balloons over Phoenix

PHOENIX — Arizona residents have most likely seen numerous hot air balloons littering the morning sky over the state.

But have they ever seen a pilot using them as obstacles?

Flying as a part of the Red Bull team, pilot Kirby Chambliss used the ultimate backdrop to get some training in early Tuesday morning before the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in October.

With the sun rising over his Phoenix home and four hot air balloons ready to fly, he took to the air.

Much like what he does in competition, Chambliss started off by chicaning around the balloons on the ground.

Once the balloons were released, he stepped it up a bit, performing different stunts high above the desert.

But why balloons?

In 1909, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway held its first event, a hot air balloon race in June. To commemorate that milestone, June 5 was dubbed National Hot Air Balloon Day.

With IMS hosting the Red Bull Air Race Championship, Chambliss decided to incorporate the balloons in his training, helping him prepare and pay homage to the 1909 event at the same time.

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