Born and raised in Mammoth, California, Troy 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. 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 sport. Troy dedicated 5 intense years to training jumps and during this time the media began pumping a new sporting competition that ESPN was bringing to the table – the X Games. Troy 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.