As a child Peter Zaccagnino was raised by a single mom and had zero connections to anything aviation. Still, he knew that it was something he had to pursue. He earned his undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering and shares some hilarious stories about how he paid for this alone. Peter was always looking for a way to succeed and didn’t let failures along the way hold him back. He knew his “why” and continued to chase that along with helping others find the answer to their’s along the way.
That’s what led Peter Zaccagnino to not only be at the top of his field in racing jets along with running custom tailored tours around the world for his customers but also allowed him to thrive during the Covid-19 outbreak instead of using it as an excuse. Peter took that time to chase his dreams of writing a book (now has two released) and is currently looking into writing, film production and aviation filming.
In this episode Peter lends some insight to help others choose to look for ways to succeed instead of looking to failure as an option. He also lays the groundwork for how to do this with his years of experience as a leader in an industry that isn’t for the faint of heart.
Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Peter Zaccagnino has pursued all things aviation since the beginning. Since earning his undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering, and restoring five airplanes and building three others (including a Lancair Super Legacy), Peter has flown over 23,000 hours in more than 270 aircraft types and flight tested over 685 aircraft. Peter’s company manages several corporate jets, and he spends 3-4 months each year on custom-tailored world tours for his customers.
His fifteen years of racing at the National Championship Air Races have included four championships, including the 2019 Jet Gold Champion, 2015 Jet Gold Champion, 2013 Jet Gold Champion at 509 mph and the fastest qualifying lap at 529 mph, and 2007 Gold Champion in the Sport Class. In 2005, he won his first race in his first year of professional competition.
Peter is the owner of High Performance Aircraft Group, which performs flight test services for several manufacturers, including the U.S. and foreign militaries. In 2019, Peter was inducted into The Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey.
Peter’s latest endeavors include writing, film production, and aviation filming. His first book, Relevant: A Military Thriller Inspired by True Events, was released in March 2020. He has produced and been involved with multiple Discovery Channel and Smithsonian Channel productions (including as lead talent on Dangerous Flights), various documentaries, and several shorts and race productions.
Pete’s philanthropy includes Wounded Warriors, the National Ability Center, various orphanages in Central and South America, and Christian Service projects for children in remote locations worldwide.
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About the Show
Listen to conversations with leaders and entrepreneurs who have built organizations making a positive impact on the world so you can discover how to expand your impact.
Are you trying to make a difference in this world? On the show, Amanda and guests reveal the path from purpose to impact and all the risks, bumps, and bruises that came along the way so you can be ahead of the curve with your purpose-driven business or organization.
Amanda is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, Partner at Evergreen Results and a founding member of the Built for Impact podcast team. She enjoys spending time with her family, serving others, horseback riding, and spending time in the mountains.