Matt Chapman Retires From Air Shows

Matt Chapman ( flew his last air show November 9, 2019 at the NAS Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, closing the book on a 37 year air show career.

Matt in his Extra 300LX

Matt is recognized as an extraordinary aerobatic pilot who has thrilled millions of airshow fans each year. He was first inspired to fly aerobatics at 16 years old, and he began flying aerobatics in 1984, quickly working his way up to the highest level of competition aerobatics – the Unlimited category. Recognized for his skills, he won one of only five slots on the U.S. Unlimited Men’s Aerobatic Team in 1996 and 1998.

At the 1998 World Aerobatic Championships (WAC), Matt was the highest-ranking American pilot, finishing third in the world with a bronze medal. He led the Men’s Team to a silver medal. Along with this impressive finish came the coveted Hilliard Trophy, awarded to the highest finishing U.S. pilot at the WAC.

Matt also won the prestigious International Aerobatic Club Championships in 1994 and the Fond du Lac Cup in 1995.

Matt’s exciting competition aerobatics led him to airshow performing. He has been both a solo performer and the flight leader of the 4CE formation aerobatic team.

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Matt is also a respected airline captain at a major US based air carrier with tens of thousands of flight hours.

In addition to all that, Matt is a respected voice in the airshow business, with a reputation for safety and diligence. Matt enjoys building and flying radio-controlled aircraft of all types.

Matt can often be seen at New Garden airport flying his R/C planes, working on his Piper Cub restoration, or bringing excitement to the New Garden traffic pattern in his Christen Eagle. Watch Matt take his Eagle for a typical flight: .

Congratulations Matt on a brilliant airshow career and we’ll see you around the airport!