Red Bull Air Race pilot Hannes Arch died last night in a helicopter crash in the mountains of his native Austria. Few details are available at this time, but the Red Bull Air Race Facebook page posted this tribute:
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of our long-time, close friend Hannes Arch in a private helicopter flight at Carinthia, Austria.
Hannes has been a Red Bull Athlete for over 25 years. The world mainly knew Hannes as an amazingly successful Red Bull Air Race pilot. This was only one of the ways in which his spirit found expression. In younger days he was ranked as one of the world’s leading mountaineers and climbers and was one of the first aerobatic paragliders.
We will miss his warmth, sense of fun and boundless energy. To his family and many other friends, we extend our deepest sympathy.
Hannes was actively competing in the Red Bull Air Race series this year, and holds third place in the 2016 rankings. There are two more races on the 2016 schedule, both in the United States. Both events are expected to go on as planned despite this tremendous loss.