Hannes Arch was one of the most successful pilots in the history of the Red Bull Air Race. Up until the 2015 season Arch finished first or second overall in the last four World Championships. The first European to win the title in 2008, Arch was a creative force who pushed the world’s fastest motorsport forward with innovative tactics and technology. Fiercely competitive, he was an accomplished adventurer who had climbed most of the world’s highest mountains and thrown himself off many cliffs as a BASE jumper. The Austrian’s fighting spirit made the last four Red Bull Air Race Championships thrilling battles to the final and with 11 victories he was second on the all-time race wins list. He won the 2008 title in only his second season with a determined and fearless style of flying that shook up his rivals and forever changed the dynamic of the sport.Arch began flying at 16 after obtaining a Special Pilot’s Licence in his native Austria. He first focused on hang gliding and at 19 became a state-approved mountain and ski guide. At one point, Arch was also ranked as one of the world’s best mountaineers and climbers. He studied Sports Science and worked as a lecturer on sport climbing at Graz University but left just before finishing to focus on his flying passion. He became an accomplished paragliding test pilot and is credited with being one of the world’s first „aerobatic paragliders.“ He began experimenting with aerobatics in 1998 after making the crossover from free flying to motorised flying and joined the Swiss National Aerobatic Team.Arch made an indelible mark on the paragliding scene by organising a gruelling international competition that has become the popular Red Bull X-Alps event. He also made some of the most spectacular BASE jumps ever. He and Ueli Gegenschatz became the first to jump off the imposing 1800 metre north face of the Eiger, one of the most daunting Alpine peaks. In 2003 they became the first BASE jumpers to conquer the north face of the Matterhorn. Arch began performing in air shows across Europe in 2003.His raw talent, determination and skill propelled him to become the European Aerobatic Champion in 2006 and he joined the Red Bull Air Race a year later in 2007, where he promptly became rookie of the year. Arch was born in Trofaiach, Austria and lived in Salzburg.
source : www.redbullairrace.com