Biography

Early days…   

Few people have spent more time in the air than Austrian pilot and adventurer Hannes Arch – but Arch is not somebody you would say has his head in the clouds.  Since helping start the Red Bull Acro Team in 1995, the accomplished Austrian has made a career of climbing mountains, paragliding, and flying stunt planes. Arch started early – at the age of 16 he attained his hang-gliding license, by 19 he was a state-approved mountain and ski guide, and by 23 one of the best mountaineers and climbers worldwide. He completed his outdoor education by studying Sports Science and working as a lecturer on sport climbing at Graz University. More importantly, he’s known as one of the first “acrobatic paragliders” in the world. 

 

Conquering the air… 

In 1998, one year after establishing the Red Bull Acro Team, Hannes took his love of flying to the next level by making the crossover from free flying to motorized flying, experimenting with aerobatics and in 2001, eventually earning a first place in the Swiss Championship Advanced Category and earned a coveted spot on the Swiss National Aerobatic Team. 

During this time he joined Ueli Gegenschatz to become the first to dare a B.A.S.E. jump from the imposing 1800-metre high north face of the Eiger, one of the most daunting peaks in the Swiss Alps, followed by another north face – that of the Matterhorn. The extreme sportsmen had only two seconds to open their parachutes during the jump, infamous for having the highest “exit” in Europe.

Athlete & businessman…   

Discontented to only achieve heights in the sky, Hannes combined his business savvy and love of extreme sports to form  production and stunt coordination company Airpro GmbH. Specializing in aerial film and TV productions, the company quickly attracted a roster of high profile clients, undertaking such stunts as flying a BMW from a paraglider.

 
Events galore… 

A few years later, Hannes again made his mark on the paragliding scene inventing the grueling international competition known as the Red Bull X-Alps, taking the world’s most elite paragliding pilots across the Alps from Austria to Monaco entirely by air or foot in a race against the clock. The event quickly gained a reputation as one of the world’s toughest adventure races and already returned for its seventh time in 2015. 

Red Bull Air Race… 

The last few years has seen Arch attain recognition first as race director and aviation cordinator of the infamous Red Bull Air races, and ultimately as one of its most competitive pilots. Eventually, Arch and his crew became a force to contend with on the Red Bull Air Race competition, with an overall win in 2008 and hard-fought 2nd places finishes in 2009 and 2010.
After a three-year break, the famous race finally celebrated its comeback in 2014, a year which would also become one of the most exciting in Hannes Arch’s career to-date. Two victories and fast times throughout Red Bull Air Race 2014 allowed him to maintain a lead all season long. The finale in Spielberg, Austria, became an emotional hometown showdown. In front of more than 34,000 excited fans, he put up fantastic performances in the first rounds. But in the final, his nerves played tricks on him and he was forced to settle for the title of Vice World Champion 2014. The Red Bull Air Race Saison 2015 had its ups and downs for him. With a mostly new team, after the less-than-ideal conclusion to the 2014 season he wanted to again take his place on the top of the podium. But not everything went to plan, with technical problems, bad luck with the weather and races missed due to illness all contributing to his finishing third in the season’s overall World Cup standings, and this despite two magnificent victories in Rovinj and Budapest. 

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