Matt Hall is a third generation pilot, a former RAAF Fighter Combat (Top Gun) Instructor, international unlimited aerobatic competitor and in 2009 became not only the first Australian to ever compete in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship but also the first Rookie to finish a Red Bull race and indeed the entire season on the podium.
Matt has a long history in the air, beginning flying with his Dad from an early age, making his first solo flight at age 15 in a glider, before gaining his aircraft pilot’s licence at the age of 18. Now licensed in gliders, ultralights, hang gliders, powered aircraft, helicopters and Military Jets, Matt has over 5500 hours in various aircraft types. He is passionate about general aviation and light aircraft, having owned nine aircraft – a Mustang P-51D, a Vans RV-4, an Acrosport II bi-plane, a Cherokee 180C, a Giles 202, a Debonair, an Extra 300L, a Super Cub and his 2014 Race Plane – a MXS-R.
Following in the footsteps of his grandfather who flew in World War II, Matt is a former Royal Australian Air Force Fighter Pilot, with over 1800 Hornet hours. He was an elite Fighter Combat (Top Gun) Instructor, and in 2006 completed a tour as the chief instructor for this demanding course. He has received many awards along the way, including Dux of Pilot, Hornet and Fighter Combat Instructor courses, the 1997 Fighter Pilot of the Year and was awarded a Chief of Air Force commendation for his performance as the Chief Instructor of the 2006 FCI course. He spent three years in the USA on a USAF exchange program, flying over 500 hours in the F-15E Strike Eagle, including combat. For his efforts, he was awarded combat decorations by both the US and Australia. Matt resigned from the RAAF in 2009 to allow him to become a full time Race and Display Pilot.
Matt has been flying aerobatics for many years, becoming more serious about competition and display aerobatics whilst on his USAF exchange. He travelled widely to air shows, fly ins and aerobatic competitions and was coached and mentored by many of the top US competitors and performers. In his first few years of competition Matt won the US East Coast Aerobatic Championship at the Sportsman level, the NSW State Aerobatic Championships at Intermediate level and the Australian Aerobatic Championships at the Advanced level, his first Nationals and Advanced competition. In April 2007 Matt moved up to Unlimited and competed at the Australian National Aerobatic Championships, placing second overall, but first in Freestyle.
You can read more about Matt is his book
‘The Sky is Not the Limit’
Purchase your copy here today.
Full name: Matthew David Hall
Date of Birth: 16 September 1971
Place of Birth: Scone, NSW, Australia
Current residence: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Family: Wife Pedita, son Mitchell, stepson Cameron and stepdaughter Amelia
Usual race weight: 69 kgs
Years flying as at 2013: 39 since first flight with father, 27 since beginning training in gliders and 26 since getting glider license
Previous jobs: RAAF Fighter Pilot, Fighter Combat Instructor
Military rank: Wing Commander
Role models: Nigel Lamb
Aviation mentors: Bob Hoover, Sean Tucker, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith
Favourite place to race: Australia
Favourite place to vacation: Australia (home!!)
Favourite food: Curry
Favourite drink: Water, White Wine
Favourite music: 80’s Rock
What’s on your ipod right before you fly: Black Eyed Peas
Three people i’d like to meet: Jon Bon Jovi, John Glenn, The Queen.
In three words describe the Red Bull Air Race: Spectacular, Exciting, Professional