We're shocked, sad and can't quite believe it: the world has lost a life-loving adventurer and great athlete. The Red Bull family has to say its final goodbye to a wonderful person and close friend – Hannes Arch. The Austrian died, shortly before his 49th birthday, in a helicopter crash.
Hannes was one-of-a kind: always searching for new challenges. His passion made him a role model for many, while his decisiveness enabled him to write sporting history and his determination turned him into a world champion. We salute this outstanding athlete and sadly say: Rest in Peace, Hannes. We'll sadly miss your warmth, your sense of humour and your almost limitless energy.
Hannes had been a Red Bull Athlete for more than 25 years. Most recently, the world came to know the Austrian as a successful Air Race pilot. The Red Bull Air Race world champion managed, with his unconditional will, to seize every opportunity to excite his fans.
"Lots of people only see me as the Air Race pilot, but I still feel more like an mountain-dweller, an alpinist. This is what I love to do most, this is my personality. This comes from the heart. It’s my spirit, my style."
Hannes began his professional career as an alpinist. Raised in the Styrian village of Trofaich, he found his love for the mountains early on and grew to be a mountaineer and climber – and always kept this close to his heart. He gained global attention with his BASE jumps from the Eiger North Wall and the Matterhorn North Wall.
"The mountains are my world, this is where I find myself. Everything that I learned from climbing and mountaineering helped me go further in life."
"While alpine touring, I enjoy reconnecting with myself again. I have time to get back in touch with myself and with nature," he said once. "These are precious moments of relaxation for me."
As the inventor of Red Bull X-Alps, Hannes Arch set a milestone in the international paragliding scene and created one of the toughest adventure races in the world. The focus was always on adventure in its purest form – by foot or paraglider from Salzburg to Monaco. To consciously make this contrast to the 'average' life was very important to Hannes. "As an athlete at Red Bull X-Alps you experience an adventure in the midst of Europe. This is fascinating, since people are usually caught in their daily business."
For the Red Bull family Hannes Arch will always be remembered and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends all over the world.Read more