Austrian pilot Hannes Arch Dies in Helicopter Crash in Alps

hannes-arch-red-bull

Photo copyright Phil Guest, Creative Commons

Austrian Red Bull race pilot Hannes Arch was killed last night in a helicopter crash in the Grossglockner region of the Austrian alps. He was 48-years-old.

Hannes was the owner of a helicopter flight transport company that flew supplies to high alpine huts. One report says the crash occurred right after he left the Elberfelderstraße hut on his way back to his home town of Salzburg.

The investigation is still ongoing with authorities not yet sure what caused the crash. All they know at the moment is that the helicopter took off around 9pm last night, crashed a few minutes later into a rock face, and then fell down into a deep gully.

A police spokesperson said it took a rescue crew over three hours to get to the crash site due to its’ remoteness.

Hannes Arch died instantly in the crash. Another passenger, the 62-year-old guardian of the Elberfelderstraße hut, was taken to a hospital in Klagenfurt with serious injuries. He is now said to be out of danger.

Hannes Arch was born in Styria, completed his first solo hang gliding flight at only 15 years of age, and went on to become an expert paraglider, BASE-jumper and pilot, as well as champion of the Red Bull Air Race World Series in 2008.

In this year’s Red Bull race, Arch was in third position. The last race of the season would have given the final result.

A statement on his website reads:

“We are devastated! Hannes lost his life last night in a helicopter flight in his beloved mountains. We lost our best friend and brother. Words can not describe, how we all feel. In these hours our thoughts are with his girlfriend Miriam, his parents Heidelore and Johann, sister Lisa and nephews Felix and Moritz and all who are close to him!”