Sammy Mason Joins Red Bull Air Races

Youngest performer in the history of the competition was born to fly.

sammy mason red bull air race
At 25, Sammy Mason is the youngest pilot to join the Red Bull Air Race.Red Bull

Santa Paula, California-based aerobatic pilot Sammy Mason has become the youngest pilot ever to join the ranks of world class racers at the Red Bull Air Race circuit. A third-generation pilot who grew up at the iconic Santa Paula Airport, Sammy Mason was named after his grandfather, who was credited for completing the first loop in a helicopter. Mason took his first flight in a Piper Cub at then tender age of three days with his mother, Rowena, who is the airport manager in Santa Paula. He soloed in a glider at age 14 and flew 10 different airplanes solo on his 16th birthday.

His passion for aerobatics also began early. At age 16, Mason flew his first airshow in a glider. “I grew up watching Michael Goulian and Kirby Chambliss, and thinking, ‘man, that’s what I want to do,’” Mason said. “I set up my career with an end goal of making it into the Red Bull Air Race.” Mason worked hard at his goal, becoming the youngest member of the U.S. National Advanced Aerobatic Team at age 19. He performed in a stock Pitts S-1S at EAA’s AirVenture in 2015, becoming one of the youngest performers to be invited to fly at the annual migration of aviation enthusiasts.

The 25-year-old Mason will fly in the Challenger Class where he will battle it out against competitors from around the world around the inflatable pylons in an Edge 540. “The first time I flew an Edge, I felt at home immediately,” Mason said. “It has similar qualities to my Pitts, but is better in every way. This sport fits well with my personality and my love for competing. It’s a dream come true.”

Mason's first RBAR performance will take place at the 2019 opener in Abu Dhabi on February 2.