Red Bull Air Race pilot: 2007-2016
Austria's Hannes Arch was one of the most successful pilots in the history of the Red Bull Air Race. In only his second year of competition, 2008, he became the first European to win the World Championship, and he earned a place on the overall podium in a total of six consecutive seasons. His innovative tactics and technology were a catalyst for the progression of the sport. Born in the Styrian town of Trofaiach in 1967, Arch climbed many of the world's highest mountains, launched numerous first descents as a BASE jumper and helped to re-envision paragliding with aerobatics. He was a driving force behind the iconic Red Bull X-Alps paragliding/foot race, and in motorized aerobatics Arch earned the European Freestyle Championship. Arch had also piloted humanitarian missions in earthquake-devastated regions of Nepal when his life was cut short by a helicopter crash in his beloved Austrian Alps in September 2016.