016 – Risk and Reward with Troy Hartman

 

Troy Hartman

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[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

How does someone who hates the idea of sky diving end up in a career as an aerial stuntman? What exactly do you have to do to lose your pilot’s license three times? What is the value of risk? In the arena of life, is it more dangerous to play it safe?  

Our guest today is Troy Hartman, the man with a JetPack!  Troy has an amazing story, and it’s peppered with little choices that involved risks.  Definitely check out the show notes today to see Troy’s JetPack videos.  We showed one particular video in all of our Inventor’s Bootcamp summer camps in 2014 because he did such a great job describing the emotions and responses to risks.  Let’s tune in to hear what this engineer and pilot turned stuntman has to say about risk.

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Troy’s Favorite Quote

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it. - Albert Einstein

If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it. - Albert Einstein Click To Tweet

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About Teachers

Can you briefly tell us about a teacher that made an impact on your education and why they are important to you?

Fictional characters such as Maverick from Top Gun guided me into flying at an early age, and naturally my college study was aeronautical engineering. I was fortunate that my school was the Alma mater of aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, which opened the door to meet him personally my senior year. He is undoubtedly the most influential force of modern aviation. He thinks completely outside the box, to a degree that others would call insanity.

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About Making

What was the last thing you made?

A mistake. At least a couple a day.

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About Learning

What is the most recent new thing you have learned?

How to remove ethanol from gasoline. It’s easy!

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About Troy

Born and raised in Mammoth, California, Troy Hartman became a “gravity” athlete from an early age. He started skiing at age two, and for the following 16 years he was on the mountain every afternoon pointing his skis straight down the hill with no regard for turning. Troy turned his focus to the sky at age 10 when his father taught him how to fly a private airplane. He knew after that first flight that he had found the world he wanted to live in and instantly made aviation a part of his everyday life from that moment forward. Troy started his career path by obsessively building and flying model airplanes and helicopters to hold him over until he was of the legal age to become a pilot. At 17, he was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy and began his military pilot training and Aeronautical Engineering studies immediately after graduating high school. Troy Hartman

By the age of 22, Troy earned his Aeronautical Engineering degree and flight instructor wings. But he needed more. At the airfield where he trained new pilots, there was a parachute training squadron that kept the airspace above the runway filled with parachutes. Having been merely annoyed for 2 years by the constant traffic holds due to the “jumpers away” call, Troy one day wondered why he wasn’t up there with them. He didn’t need to dwell on the thought. Within a month he had his basic sport skydiving license and had found his new passion.

From the very beginning of his jump training, Troy recognized skydiving as one of the greatest and most misunderstood forms of flight. He had one particular discipline in mind the whole time – skysurfing. In 1992, the idea of strapping a board to one’s feet and jumping out of an airplane was considered black death, not just by the general public, but by skydivers as well. That was just the motivation Troy needed. Unbeknownst to the owner of the skydiving center where Troy jumped, Troy managed to sneak a homemade board onto the plane and at 13,000′ get out the door before the stunned pilot could react. He survived this first frightening skysurfing experience and was given the green light by the dropzone owner to continue jumping the board, since at this point Troy could now be considered an expert of this new roy knew his timing was perfect and he now had only one goal in mind: to win this new event. In 1997 he realized this goal by becoming the skysurfing world champion in front of a live audience of millions. Troy’s career had officially started.

Among the many who saw Troy put himself on the extreme sports map were the creative folks from Pepsi’s advertising agency. They immediately dreamed up a cutting edge ad that would bring skysurfing before the eyes of all those other people in the world who missed it at the X-Games. Troy shared the spotlight with a goose in the commercial that debuted in the 1998 Super Bowl. It became an instant hit and was given the official title of #1 ad that year. This opened many doors of opportunity for Troy to showcase his talents. In 1999, MTV called Troy to ask him about hosting a new show they wanted to do involving blowing things up and watching people do stupid things. In the meeting Troy expressed his concern at having no hosting experience and that he would be more comfortable if he were the one blowing things up and doing stupid things. MTV asked Troy for a wish list of things he would like to do and this was drawn up that night. Senseless Acts of Video was born.

Troy’s focus in the show was to push the aviation envelope to its limits. In two short years, Troy designed and successfully pulled off 32 aerial stunts, most of which had never been done before and have not since been replicated. Of course, the producers at MTV had their ideas too, and to Troy’s reluctance they came up with quite a few non-aerial stunts. Before long Troy found himself being lit on fire, ratcheted away from a speeding train, having his arm chewed on by a shark, and being blown up off of a pier, amongst other things. After performing a total of 42 stunts, at the end of season three Troy decided enough was enough. He was actually starting to fear for his life.

During this successful 3 season run, not only did Troy refine his stunt skills, but he became a very accomplished host. Only days after “Senseless Acts of Video” aired its series finale, Troy was offered the host role for the new WB reality show “No Boundaries”. With a well established name in the business, Troy has enjoyed many great opportunities, from working as creator and executive producer on new shows, to filling the weatherman slot on Good Morning America.

Today, Troy continues to draft up new ideas to push aerial stunts forward. Currently, he is finalizing testing of his “Jet Wing”, and discovering new uses for his personal jetpack. Stay tuned, because there is a lot more to come. 

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Additional Notes

To see Troy’s JetPack video, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yolum7_0UCA

Here is a link to Troy’s snow skiing video with the JetPack (THIS VIDEO IS AMAZING!!! A MUST SEE if you love snow skiing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H5oYHs7EJw

You can learn more about Troy on his page: http://www.troyhartman.com/

To see more great quotes about risk, visit this page: http://riskology.co/99-risk-quotes/

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Text Transcript

 Coming Soon!

Pearl S. Buck quote

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible-and achieve it,… Click To Tweet

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