Fear is a dangerous emotion for extreme aerobatic pilot and former fighter ace Matt Hall.
One hint of hesitation or a momentary lapse of concentration could see the air extraordinaire come crashing down to earth.
But as he carved up the skies above the Canberra Airport open day yesterday, twisting and tumbling over the heads of tens of thousands of people, there was little sign of trepidation.
''I never get fear when I'm flying,'' Mr Hall said.
''If I'm doing anything that is scaring me as the captain of the aircraft, it's bad,'' he said.
Mr Hall, who served as a fighter pilot with the Royal Australian Air Force and the US Air Force before entering the adrenaline-fuelled world of racing and aerobatics, was the main attraction at yesterday's open day.
The excitement of the crowd was audible.
There were gasps as he flung his plane through the sky at seemingly impossible angles, often stopping its engines mid-air for long stretches and plummeting back toward the ground, smoke trailing from its tail.
''Before I get in the plane I'll still have just a twinge of nerves, but I think that is a good thing, because it keeps me from becoming complacent,'' he said.
''Once I'm inside the plane, I'm super calm.''
The crowd, made up mainly of families and young children, were also treated to a collection of aviation history.
Planes were on display from the Historical Aviation Restoration Society, including the Super Constellation ''Connie'', the Caribou, and the Catalina flying boat.
The scenes reminded Mr Hall of his own childhood, much of which was spent at air shows with his father.
He started flying at the age of five, following in the footsteps of his dad and grandfather.
''My message to all kids is chase your dreams,'' Mr Hall said. ''I nearly didn't take up flying as a career because I was told by family friends and school career advisers 'you can't be a pilot','' he said.
The crowd numbered more than 23,000 for yesterday's event.