Tilo Holighaus was born in 1969. He studied mechanical engineering and graduated with a diploma degree in 1995. At this time, he was already managing Schempp-Hirth, supported by his mother Brigitte and his brother Ralf after Klaus Holighaus' tragic accident in 1994. He married his wife Katja, also a glider pilot, in 1999 and they have three children that are growing up on airfields just as their parents did.
Tilo already started flying models as a child and began gliding at the age of 14. He achieved his first cross-country flight at the age of 16, his Gold-C with a first diamond at 17 and finally all 3 diamonds and the 1000km badge at the age of 21. He flew his first competition when he was 17 years old and has been a member of the German Junior National Team for nearly seven years in a row.
In South Africa, he achieved a World record (1000 km triangle with 155 km/h) and several national records. Besides being an enthusiastic cross-country glider pilot and participating in various national and international championships, he won the Bronze Medal in Parallel Gliding Race at the 2015 FAI World Air Games in Dubai. At the World Grand Prix Finals 2019 in La Cerdanya/Spain he became World Champion, beating FAI ranking list #1 Sebastian Kawa.