‘At the age of 15 I would sit there at the controls and think: I’m going to go left, and I can. I don’t have to follow the road. I don’t have to ask anyone – I can go left when I want, I can go right when I want. I had discovered the freedom that has kept me flying to this day.’
Since he was old enough to notice planes, Matt Hall wanted to be a pilot. Flying with his dad in a glider, making models at home and meeting officers from the Air Force fuelled his ambition. So when he was accepted into the RAAF’s grueling training school it seemed a dream come true. But dreams take hard work and focus – and the willingness to make your own luck.
From the rigours of his first job in aviation as an F/A-18 Hornet pilot, to combat over Iraq in the Battle of Baghdad, where he experienced fear and loss for the first time, to his post Air Force career as a professional air racer, Matt Hall has survived near-fatal situations to become one of the most renowned pilots in the world. His extraordinary story is a rare glimpse into a normally closed world where skill, quick thinking and a cool head in the air can mean the difference between life and death.
This book was lent to me by Matt Hall’s mother, Lesleigh. Who is my aunt-in-law. So that makes Matt my cousin-in-law. Anyway enough with the bragging and name dropping 😉
The Sky Is Not The Limit: The Life Of Australia’s Top Gun is the autobiography of RAAF Fighter Pilot and Australian Red Bull Champion, Matt Hall. It was only published last year so it is quite current.
The book starts off piquing your interest immediately, capturing you in wanting to know how this young man came to be in the highly dangerous situation he finds himself in. The book is very detailed and systematically goes through Matt’s life from the beginning up until the present day. It moves at a steady pace, and there are a few parts where you’re heart is in your mouth!
Obviously there is a great deal about flying planes, however even though i am only slightly interested in the dynamics of that, i still found it interesting to read. There was a good balance of both technical and storytelling.
I also really appreciated reading about his experience in the Battle of Baghdad. He is super honest about his feelings and his role in the combat, and how it affected him.
Overall i would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy reading autobiographies or anything to do with the subject matter (planes, the RAAF etc.) and I’m not just being biased because i am related to him!