Ten things to know about Matt Hall

Hidden facts of the current Red Bull Air Race World Championship standings leader

Hall on a track walk

Australia's only Red Bull Air Race pilot has twice been runner-up in the World Championship, and after a building year as the team focused on customising a brand-new raceplane, he is now at the top of the leaderboard with back-to-back race wins. But you knew all that! Here's 10 things you probably didn't...

1. Hall has been focused on flying from childhood. "When I was young, I spent all my spare time reading about aviation, hanging out at airfields and flying with my dad," Hall says. "If I was not doing that, I was riding my motorbike or horse on the farm where we lived."

2. He spent 18 years in the military. Hall flew F/A-18 Hornets and F-15E Strike Eagles, and he was a graduate, instructor and chief instructor of the Fighter Combat Instructor course (the Aussie "Top Gun" school). He eventually retired as a Wing Commander.

Matt Hall (with a fellow student) takes his first solo in an F-15E Strike Eagle, 2002. Photo Courtesy of Matt Hall.

3. His wife is a former Wing Commander, too. Hall proposed to Pedita at Kitty Hawk in the USA, where the first flight was flown by the Wright brothers in 1903.

Matt Hall and his future wife Pedita at the monument to the Wright Brothers' first flight in Kitty Hawk, USA, on the day that Matt proposed. Photo Courtesy of Matt Hall.

4. Hall is process driven and likes lists. Unlike many, he also sticks to them!

5. He shares his passion through a growing business at his home base. In 2014 Hall purchased an airfield in Lake Macquarie, NSW, Australia with some friends as the foundation for the enterprise. Now he runs joy flights and charter flights, and will be moving into flight training in the not too distant future.

Lake Macquarie Airport as it looked when Matt Hall and his business partners purchased it in 2014. Photo Courtesy of Matt Hall.

6. He has made the World Championship podium in 50% of his Air Racing seasons. Hall might still be hunting a maiden title, but he has finished in the top three in six campaigns so far. In 2009 he became the first rookie to stand on the World Championship podium (third). He was then runner-up to Great Britain's Paul Bonhomme in 2015 and was second in 2016 to his "mate" from Germany, Matthias Dolderer. Could this be his year to take it all?

7. Hot showers – Hall loves them! Growing up, he and his family lived in a shed on the farm, which was fitted with only a bucket shower. Now, he can't get enough of a long, hot shower.

8. In the Hall household, family fun includes brain games. Hall enjoys spending time with his son, Mitchell, solving mathematics problems. They also like to read books together and then delve into conversations about the plots and subplots.

9. When it comes to raceplanes, he's versatile. Hall is one of just a handful of pilots to have flown both the Edge and MX aircraft in the Red Bull Air Race, and he is the only pilot to have done so in the sport's new era that began in 2014.

10. Hall is an animal lover. There were dogs and horses on the farm where he grew up, and he also looked after cattle. Currently he has two cats and a dog, and he says that all three hate each other in equal measure!

A teenage Matt Hall rocks the 80s vibe while horseback riding on the family farm near Lake Macquarie, New South Wales. Photo Courtesy of Matt Hall.

See Hall go for a hat-trick of race wins in a row when the Red Bull Air Race stops in Budapest on 23-24 June 2018. Get your tickets HERE.