At first he thought it was a wheel from a tractor, but then identified it as coming from an aircraft, according to a report in the news daily Kronen Zeitung.
"From the dimensions of the wheel, it was a giant bird, probably a Boeing 747", said Niklas Salm-Reifferscheidt, which was confirmed by the national air traffic control body, Austro Control.
The likeliest explanation is that the wheel, with a diameter of 1.25 metres, was lost from the Jumbo in the air, and literally fell from the sky.
"It was very lucky that no one was hurt, because a heavy wheel like that would go cleanly through the roof of a house", said Salm-Reifferscheidt.
The incident is being investigated by the independent air accident commission of the Ministry of Transport. According to an experienced pilot, on a global basis there are at least two such incidents per year of planes losing one of their wheels.
The Hörsching international airport is 30 km from the find. Experts believe that the exact aircraft type and airline can be discovered based on the wheel's serial number.