Lessons from a top Red Bull Air Racing and decorated fighter pilot--Matt Hall

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By Justin "HASARD" Lee. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My guest today is Matt Hall, Australia's top aviator. He has logged over 6,000 hours in various aircraft, including the F-18 Hornet and the F-15 Strike Eagle. He is a decorated Wing Commander in the Australian Air Force, a Fighter Combat Instructor (Australia's version of Top Gun), and in 1997 was named Australia’s Fighter Pilot of the Year.

Matt has also competed on the international level in aerobatics, winning the Australian Advanced Aerobatic Championship and finished first in Freestyle and second overall in the Unlimited category.

For the last 10 years, Matt has been flying at the pinnacle of aviation racing--The Red Bull Air Race series. He is one of the top pilots, coming in second overall a record three times. With the final Red Bull race ever coming up, Matt is in second place with a chance to win the championship.

What struck me most about Matt was his system's approach to winning. He has merged the training he did in the Air Force with an Olympic athlete's mindset. Every aspect of his life has been optimized so that on race day he can fly as fast as possible. In our conversation we talk about what it's like to pull 12G's, the time his wing hit the ocean during a race, his sports psychology training, and more. Below are the show notes with the associated timestamps:

  • Where passion for aviation comes from (min. 02:45)
  • Highlights of your military career and stories (min. 08:00)
  • Lessons learned from combat (min. 12:15)
  • How he got into racing (min. 14:45)
  • How difficult the transition to racing was (min. 17:45)
  • How to reduce jet lag (min. 20:15)
  • Red Bull Air Race weekly schedule (min. 23:45)
  • How the military background helps now (min. 27:45)
  • Using sports psychology for flying (min. 30:15)
  • Mental and physical training (min. 33:15)
  • Pulling upwards of 12G's in turns! (min. 35:15)
  • Race overview (min.37:15)
  • Strengths and weaknesses flying (min. 39:45)
  • Challenges he's had to overcome (min. 41:15)
  • Being the CEO of the team and the pilot (min. 43:45)
  • Crashing a Red Bull plane into the water (min. 47:00)
  • Whats next now that the Red Bull series is canceled (min. 54:45)

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