In 2009, Pete McLeod of Red Lake, Ontario made history by becoming the youngest pilot and first Canadian to compete in the elite Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Over two decades younger than the average pilot in the world championship, Pete turned heads and quickly earned the respect of his rivals with his impressively smooth and precise flying. His personality quickly made him a favourite with fans.
Pete’s 2009 rookie campaign was a development year as the Canadian built his team for long-term success. Entering the season with the heaviest and slowest plane in the field, Pete still managed to get the most out of his Edge 540 and gain valuable experience.
For the 2010 season, Pete and his team performed a massive overhaul on his Edge 540 aircraft. The overhaul was designed to strengthen the power to weight ratio, something that severely handicapped McLeod throughout the previous season.
What many of his rivals feared became a reality in the 2010 season. Equipped with a competitive aircraft and a year of experience in the world championship, Pete captured back-to-back 5th place finishes in the first two races of the season - Abu Dhabi and Perth. Pete would go on to capture another 5th place finish in New York City and never finish outside of the Top 10 in 2010. McLeod captured 33 world championship points in 2010, earning him 5th place overall.
- 2010 - 5th place overall - 33 world championship points
- 5th place - Abu Dhabi UAE, Perth AUS, New York City USA
- 6 top 10 finishes
- 2009 - 15th place overall – 1 world championship point
- 11th place – Windsor CAN
- Qualified at the Red Bull Air Race Qualification Camp in 2008 and selected to race in 2009
- Seven 1st place and two 2nd place career finishes (10 career competition events to date)
- Mid America Series Champion
- North American Collegiate Aerobatic Champion
- B.F. Goodrich Award - Highest scoring foreign pilot - U.S. National Championships
- 12th Place - European Aerobatic Championships
- Youngest Canadian Air Show Performer
- Seven 1st place finishes and two 2nd place finishes in competition events, 2nd place Advanced Category, US National Aerobatic Championships
Red Bull Air Race organizers announced a restructuring of the world
championship in 2010 to address the business model and rapid grow the
series had experienced. Racing has been suspended for 2011 and 2012
with a management team currently in place and working to re-launch the
During this pause in racing, McLeod has returned to the North American
Air Show circuit, the circuit where Red Bull Air Race officials first
discovered him. Pete performs his aggressive low-level aerobatic
routine only metres above the ground and leaves fans holding their
breath and shaking their heads in amazement.
As one of Canada’s most recognizable aviation figures and civilian
headlining act at Canadian air shows, McLeod and his Red Bull Edge 540
is a crowd favourite in the sky and on the ground with fans of all
|McLeod grew up flying small float planes in northern Ontario, taking his
first flight in the family plane at 6 weeks old and first lesson atop
is father’s knee at age 3. He got his pilot’s licence at 16 – before his
driver’s licence. McLeod believes flying in rugged conditions and
dynamic environments proved to be an ideal training ground for his
extreme aerial exploits.
Growing up playing hockey, Canada’s national sport, McLeod has always been a fierce competitor. He started aerobatics at 16, flew competition aerobatics, air show freestyle and was the youngest Canadian air show performer. He earned his aerobatics instructor rating at 18. McLeod dedicated 3 years to training for the Red Bull Air Race after he finished his economics degree at the University of Western Ontario.
Pete regularly appears on television and radio as well as in print and
online publications. He has delivered numerous keynotes and
presentations at various events.
Pete is an active member of the International Council of Air Shows
(ICAS), International Aerobatic Club
(IAC), Canadian Owners and Pilots
(COPA), North East Council of Air Shows
(NECAS) and One