Champion air racer, aviation engineer and author settles down with Flying Lady at the end of a high-speed day
What's Your Adventure?
Pete Zaccagnino was dubbed “the Fastest Man at Reno” and for good reason! He’s an Aviation Hall of Fame pilot, 4-time Air Racing Gold Champion, has flown over 23,000 hours in more than 270 aircraft, flight tested more than 685, and even built three of his own.
Pete loves his adventure at top speed, having won the Gold Championship in the Jet class at 509mph! He has turned “pushing the envelope” into a personal philosophy and a successful career. He’s a humble but proud aviator, focused on the safety of his fellow pilots. As the president and chief pilot of High Performance Aircraft Training/Testing Inc. (HPAT), a company that tests the limits of today’s sophisticated aircraft to help pilots fly smarter and more safely, Zaccagnino gets to apply his “see-what-we-can-do” attitude daily. “Instead of looking at reasons why you can’t do something,” he explains, “we find out how you can make it happen.”
Clearly, a seasoned adventurer, Pete recently authored his first book: Relevant: A Military Thriller Inspired by True Events, which details his wild real-life experiences being held at gunpoint in Pakistan, unjustly detained by Nigerian authorities, and preventing children from getting kidnapped in Guatemala. He’s produced films for Discovery Channel and Smithsonian, and is featured on the popular “Dangerous Flights.” When not flying or at work on his creative projects, Pete is an avid skier and loves most outdoor activities.
“I’m always doing many things at once,” he says happily. Whether it’s flight testing, engineering a new design or modification, or developing new business, Zaccagnino is always ready for the next move. “I never want to wait for others to do something first, when I know I can do it.”
How Do You Pair Your Adventure?
“I would pair my adventures with Flying Lady’s Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon has a wonderfully tannic bite, it’s bold and drawn out on the palate. After I get home from an adventure in flight or coming down the mountain after a long day of skiing, I would love nothing more than this bold/complex cab with my dinner.”