A fresh face in the Challenger Class, Hong Kong's Kenny Chiang is the first pilot from China to compete in the Red Bull Air Race, a dream he has been pursuing for a decade. At just 27 years of age, he's one of the youngest pilots ever to compete in the high-speed, low-altitude sport, yet he brings with him substantial experience in commercial and aerobatic flying, as well as a passion for raising awareness of aviation in his homeland and beyond.
Chiang took his first flying lesson at the age of 13 and was awarded his pilot's licence at 17. That same year, he attended the Red Bull Air Race in London, UK – and a seed was planted. Chiang began learning aerobatics, meanwhile joining an airline at 19, becoming one of the youngest pilots in history to fly a 747.
By the time he was 24, Chiang had already flown aerobatics internationally in locations including the UK, the USA, Australia and South Africa. In 2014, he became the inaugural pilot to represent Hong Kong on the global stage of aerobatics, claiming a Bronze medal in his World Championship debut – the first World aerobatics medal ever awarded to an Asian country. To date, Chiang has logged over 2,500 hours in the air, flying more than 38 types of aircraft.
"Competitive flying is all about preparation and training. It is imperative to know where the limits are and never exceed your personal and aircraft's limits," Chiang states. "To be a Challenger Class pilot is a dream come true. The mental preparation is very similar to aerobatics, but the flying discipline is quite different – there will be a lot of work to do."