Born in August 1987 in Orange, California, Steve Hinton fell in love with aviation as a child.
The son of two-time Unlimited Gold champion air racer Steve Hinton Sr., he grew up volunteering at his family’s Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, CA, where he is permanently based. Steve earned his pilot’s license at the age of 17 and that same year was offered a position on the crew of the Strega Air Racing Team, where he would assist with aircraft maintenance, among other tasks. He also gained extensive hands-on mechanical experience working at various airplane restoration and engine shops.
Having first soloed in a World War II-era P-51 Mustang at just 19 years of age, he made his racing debut at the Reno National Championship Air Races in 2008 where he was named "Rookie of the Year".
Steve Hinton made history in 2009 when he flew his P-51 Mustang, "Strega", to victory and became the youngest-ever champion at the Reno National Championship Air Races at only 22 years old, breaking the previous record set by his father at age 26. Steve went on to win his second Unlimited Gold championship title the following year.
Undisputedly one of the up and coming stars of the sport, he set a new qualifying record at the 2011 event in Reno with a top speed of 499 mph (803 km/h).