Mike Mangold is an US Air Force veteran who has made a name for himself both as a commercial aviator and an aerobatics pilot, racking up numerous achievements in the sport of aircraft racing.
Mangold was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1955; the oldest of three brothers, he moved with his family from Pennsylvania to California before enrolling in the United States Air Force Academy in 1974. It was at the Academy that he first developed his passion for high-altitude pursuits, beginning as a skydiver and later learning to fly fighter aircraft in the USAF’s Fighter Weapons School.
Proving his skills even at this early juncture, he graduated first in his class and earned “Outstanding Graduate” honors from the Academy. During his active duty years in the Air Force, Mangold flew missions in all models of the F4 Phantom, serving in South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, and Egypt.
After completing his military flying career in 1989, Mangold became a commercial pilot and took his first steps into competitive aerobatic flying in air shows and competitions. In 2001 and 2003, he earned a spot on the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team, and during that time competed and placed in both the World Air Games and the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships.
Mike Mangold – Red Bull
Mangold’s greatest achievements as a competitive aviator came about when he began competing in the Red Bull Air Race World Series in 2004. He finished first in the Red Bull event in 2005 and 2007, and followed up that success with three straight second-place finishes in the Reno Air Races in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
All told, Mangold has over 16,000 hours of flight time under his belt, and he continues to participate in both competitive aviation and skydiving events. He lives with his wife Julie, who is also an accomplished aerobatics pilot, and their two children.