Australia’s Matt Hall has stolen the show – and the championship lead – at the third stop of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba, Japan, beating home America’s Michael Goulian and Czech pilot Martin Šonka in the process.

The Aussie had his back against the wall at the beginning of the day, with his opponent in the first knockout stage being local hero and two-time defending Japanese race winner Yoshihide Muroya. However, a blistering time 55.529 had Hall more than half a second ahead of the field, vaulting him into favouritism for the remainder of the race.

Meanwhile reigning world champion Muroya exceeded the maximum G-force limit on his run and was subsequently disqualified from the opening round.

Today’s victory makes it two on the trot for Hall, who won the inaugural French race in Cannes last month. Now Hall is well and truly on track to hunt down a maiden world title in 2018 and said that the difficulty of today’s triumph made it just that bit sweeter than France.

“It feels good to win today, it feels a little bit better than the last race in Cannes. That race was fantastic because we won for the first time with this plane – it was a breakthrough. But this one was just really hard fought,” Hall said.

“We had a poor qualifying yesterday and went to bed knowing that our first task today was to race Yoshi, who’s the reigning world champion and the guy who has won this race the last two times in a row. He was also the crowd favourite.

“That made it a tough morning for us, but I am proud of how the team pulled it all together. There wasn’t a single error from anybody in the team. No matter what people see out there, this is a team sport, and everyone nailed it.”

Matt Hall Racing Team celebrate after the finals at the third round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in Chiba, Japan on May 27, 2018. Pic: Matt Hall Racing


Following his Round of 14 win, Hall then fended off a challenge from Spaniard Juan Velarde in the second knockout stage, before progressing to the Final 4 and a shootout for the top spot.

When it came to the Final 4, Goulian was the first contender out and he put down a clean and consistent run. Šonka followed, but a two second penalty for flying through a gate at an incorrect level dashed his hopes of victory. It was a similar story for Canadian Pete McLeod who incurred the same penalty and finished fourth.

That left Hall as the only genuine chance to beat Goulian, and the Aussie delivered when it mattered most.

With a second victory under his belt, Hall moves into equal first on the world championship leader board with Goulian (36 points apiece). Due to Hall’s two victories compared the American’s one, it is the Aussie who now tops the standings.

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship will next stop in Budapest, Hungary on the weekend of June 23-24.

Content supplied by Matt Hall Racing


Australia’s general aviation industry converges on Wagga Wagga to send a clear message of reform to Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack MP.


The Dick Smith presentation in Wagga Wagga on Thursday 26th April 2018 was a great success and it was fantastic to see so many AOPA Australia members along with local Riverina constituents in attendance.

The venue was at capacity with only standing room available, clearly demonstrating the importance and genuine interest in the issues presented.Many thanks must go to the local media, who turned out en-masse to document and report.

AOPA Pilot Magazine Journalist Paul Southwick had the opportunity to speak with a number of newspaper and television reporters, who were all very eager to communicate our industry’s concerns.

A big thank you must go to Dick Smith, who clearly and passionately communicated our industry’s frustration regarding the lack of action and reforms from our political representatives.

The presentation exposed nearly three decades of inaction and neglect, along with explaining the damage to regional townships and communities. Utilising a range of key data, including charts provided by AOPA Australia, Dick highlighted that declines in general aviation flight training and maintenance, which are the result of government and political neglect, have now manifested themselves into an airline pilot and maintenance employment crisis.

For the first time in the history of Australian aviation, our general aviation industry is unable to meet the employment demands of the airline sector, struggling under the enormous weight of regulatory burden, which has rendered general aviation uncompetitive and unsustainable – should the current regulatory framework continue.

The outcome now is that the airlines are desperately seeking to bypass general aviation in Australia by importing foreign pilots and maintenance crews under 457 VISAs.

The AOPA Australia is deeply concerned for the future of our general aviation community and stands fully opposed to the wholesale granting of 457 VISAs for pilots and maintainers, which we regard as a bandage to cover the open wound of regulatory and political failure.

The AOPA Australia believes that Australians want the assurance that comes from being flown by Australian trained pilots, whom have earned the reputation as being the safest in the world, the source of these pilots is general aviation.

Dick has called on the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, to take positive action by reforming the Civil Aviation Act. The Deputy Prime Minister responded through local media stating;

“I’ve had a number of discussions with Dick Smith, and I appreciate that the industry wants to see changes made as soon as possible, but what I won’t do for anyone is rush policy change, especially when there might be safety implications”

“It’s all well and good to bind me to the Barnaby Joyce agreement, but the fact is Barnaby is not transport Minister anymore and, while I appreciate that he had discussions with Anthony Albanese, I was not in on those discussions.”

Watch the presentation video below:


This article from the AOPA Australia website – view more here.

A and R Aviation is a proud supporter of General Aviation Reform in Australia. Please visit the AOPA website, show your support and contact your local member to voice your concern!