Athlete Profile

Wolfgang Siess 

Profesional Hangglider Pilot 



Home fly area: Hinterhornalm Gnadenwald
                               Seegrube Innsbruck
Discipline: Xc Racing/Swooping/Acro/Airshow

Sponsors:  Wills Wing /Flytec / Gloryfy /Rab/Suunto 
Other activities: Tandempilot 

Hobbies: Kitesurfing/Surfing/Speedflying
                    Paragliding / Slacklining


How did you get into hang gliding?


Hanggliding just kind of fell into place for me. My dad has been flying hanggliders since the late 70’s. Evidently I spent the majority of my childhood at the take off and landing zone in Tirol, Austria gazing upwards, longing to be one of those hanggliders in the sky.


What does flying mean to you?


Flying isn’t just a hobby for me it’s my life. For me flying means feeling that sensation of ultimate freedom. Life without it is almost unimaginable for me.


What’s special too you about flying?


The cool thing about hang gliding is that you can fly hundreds of kilometres for hours on end using only the power of the sun (thermals) in complete silence. In this meditative like state you are then left to freely appreciate the world and all its beauty below you from a birds eye view.


What tittles have you taken out so far?  


Two times Austrian National champion, multiple Tirol state champion and I managed to take out first place at the 2009 world air games. As part of the Austrian team we’ve placed second at the European champs and third at the world champs.

What tittles are you still after?


 A world champion crown is of course something I would love to achieve as well. Besides that a European tittle would also be a fine feat! And then there are world records going for bigger distances then anyone else in the world.

What are you goals in terms of hanggliding over the next few years?


After a year off flying due to an injury I’m super motivated to get back into it! I’m really excited for my first comp of the season in Columbia at the end of January. Then from there I’m off to Mexico for the World Champs and I plan on giving it a good crack. Who knows maybe I’ll bring back the bacon to Austria. (laughing) That would be a dream comeback! Otherwise during our US trip I want to crack the big 500km and break the 760km world record.

You spend hours up there at great heights. After years of experience are there any situations that still give you the shivers, If so what are they?


Not really either I’m always pretty comfortable up there.

Still, hanggliding doesn’t go without risk how do you deal with the thought of potentially having a bad accident?


As long as you stick to the rules hanggliding is actually a safe sport. Like any other sport hanggliding too has its limits. But with the right training and preparation you can learn to master those hairy situations.