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European helicopter lands on the summit of Mount Everest!

Helicopter lands on the top of Mount Everest

On May 14th, 2005 at 7h08 (local time), a serial Ecureuil/AStar AS 350 B3 piloted by the EUROCOPTER X-test pilot Didier Delsalle, landed at 8,850 meters (29,035ft) on the top of the Mount Everest (Kingdom of Nepal).

This tremendous achievement breaks the World Record for the highest altitude landing and take-off ever, which sets an ultimate milestone in the History of Aviation.

Fabrice Brégier, President and CEO of the EUROCOPTER Group, world leading helicopter manufacturer, immediately congratulated the pilot and his team for this
extraordinary feat.

After taking off from its base camp Lukla on May 14th, 2005 at 2,866 meters (9,403ft) Didier Delsalle onboard his Ecureuil AS350B3 reached the top of Mount Everest.

As required by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI - International Aeronautical Federation), the aircraft remained landed on ground more than 2 minutes on the top of the world before flying back to Lukla.

This feat was renewed the day after.

Stepping out of his helicopter, Didier Delsalle commented: "To reach this mythical summit definitively seemed to be a dream; despite the obvious difficulties of the target to be reached, the aircraft demonstrated its capability to cope with the situation . . ., sublimated by the magic of the place”.

Achieved with a serial helicopter, this absolute World Record once more contributes to underline the unique qualities of the Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3 as a multipurpose, reliable, quick and comfortable helicopter which emerges as the most performing aircraft in the world in the most extreme conditions.

During the trial period, Didier Delsalle and his Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3 flew some rescue missions on behalf of the Nepalese authorities demonstrating the operational capabilities of the aircraft used to set the altitude landing and take-off World Record.

This feat has been achieved further to various flight tests begun one year ago with the Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3, among which:

> Experimental flight up to 8,992 meters (29,500 ft) in April 2004 in Istres (France),
> “Time to climb” records to the heights of 3,000, 6,000 and 9,000 meters performed on April 14th, 2005 in respectively 2 minutes 21 seconds, 5 minutes 6 seconds
        and 9 minutes 26 seconds. These records smash the previous ones held by an Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B1 with respectively 2 minutes 59 seconds,
        6 minutes 55 seconds and 13 minutes 52 seconds,
> Experimental flight up to 10.211 meters (33.500 ft) on April 14, 2005,
>Landing at the South Pass of Mount Everest at 7,925 meters (26,000 ft) on May 12th, 2005, establishing a new altitude landing and take-off record, previously held by
        a Cheetah helicopter - variant of the Lama - at 7,670 meters (25,150 ft).

With this landing on the top of the world, EUROCOPTER demonstrates that its technological innovations provide its products a length - height - ahead, set at the disposal of its worldwide customers.

To date, 3,670 Ecureuil/AStar have been sold worldwide and logged 15 million flight hours.

Since its introduction on the market, the Ecureuil/AStar/Twinstar family has been benefiting of successive improvements among which its most powerful version is the Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3. This aircraft is serial equipped with modern systems such as dual channel FADEC, Vehicule and Engine Monitoring Display, integrated GPS, etc….

424 Ecureuil/AStar AS350 B3 are currently in operation worldwide, mainly used for missions requiring high performances, such as aerial work (cargo sling capacity: 1,400kg) in very high and hot conditions.

EUROCOPTER is thankful to the Nepalese government and all its departments for their help and friendly support throughout this mission.

These world records are currently submitted to the official approval of the FAI.

Eurocopter is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS. The worldwide leader in aerospace, defense, and the associated services, EADS generated a turnover of 31.8 billion euros in 2004, and employed approximately 110,000 people throughout the world. The EADS Group includes the aircraft maker Airbus, the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter, and the world’s second largest missile company, the joint venture MDBA. EADS is also the biggest partner in the Eurofighter consortium and the lead contractor for the Ariane launcher. The Group is also developing the A400M military transport aircraft, and is the major industrial partner for Galileo, the European satellite-based navigation system.


Note: I am speechless! My thanks to Eduardo Soler, Aconcagua-Experience, for this news tip. These helicopters are used on Aconcagua. --Webmeister Speik.



Helicopter rescues climber at 14,000 feet!

For the second year in a row a new record was set for the number of mountaineers attempting to climb Mount McKinley. Despite the increase in attempts, extended periods of poor weather throughout the Alaska Range resulted in the lowest success rate since 1971.

The National Park Service conducted two, three-week expeditions on Mount McKinley. All were on the West Buttress route. We continue to emphasize environmentally sound expeditionary climbing and sanitation practices. In addition, mountaineers are encouraged to conduct their own evacuations when ever possible. During  emergencies, the 14,200’ medical/rescue camp serves as a base from which most Mount McKinley rescue operations are coordinated.

On May 3rd, 1987, a large group from the United Kingdom was descending the West Rib on Mount McKinley. At about the 14,800’ level, one of the members slipped and fell 800’, sustaining serious head injuries. The group’s CB radios were set to broadcast on a frequency not monitored by basecamp, the air taxi operators or the National Park Service. Thus, a member of the group had to ski out to basecamp to report the accident. Word of the accident was relayed to the Talkeetna Ranger Station at 2230 hrs of the same day. Insufficient light remained to conduct a rescue that day, so plans were made to attempt a helicopter hoist evacuation early on May 4th. No private helicopters with winch capabilities were available. Assistance was requested through the Rescue Coordination Center at Elmendorf Air Force Base. The following morning, an Air Force C130 arrived to orbit the mountain to provide radio communications and the Army Chinook Helicopters lowered an Air Force “PJ”, to the accident site. The injured climber was stabilized and then hoisted from the accident site. This was only the second hoist operation to ever be conducted on Mount McKinley.

Also in early May, an experienced team of two Yugoslavians arrived for a climb of the West Buttress. They had been delayed several days when their luggage was lost by their airline, and they hoped to make up their lost time by climbing rapidly. They moved to 14,200’ in three days. The next day they began to ascend, but one team member felt ill and returned to 14,200’ to rest while his partner continued. The following day, the ill climber’s condition deteriorated and he became severely ataxic. Fortunately, he was met by a NPS patrol who sledded him down to Windy Corner where his condition improved enough for him to begin his own descent. In the mean time, oxygen was flown via helicopter from Talkeetna but clouds prevented direct delivery to the Yugoslavian. It was dropped to another party who shuttled it to the Yugoslavian who was able to ski back to basecamp without further assistance.



Tomaz Humar rescued from Nanga Parbat at 24,000 feet by helicopter

August 7, 2005, on the SuperTopo bulletin board: "Tomaz Humar has been stranded at about 24,000' on Nanga Parbat's Rupal Face since Wednesday (warm humid weather.. snowing... ). They are trying to find a powerful enough helicopter to try and rescue him. Check out the updates plus the amazing amazing video from the helicopter that did go up the face".

Note: Our thanks to Chris at SuperTopo for this tip! --Webmeister




Read more . . .
Sierra club, Angeles Chapter
American Alpine Club
Oregon Section of the AAC
Accidents in North American Mountaineering

  About Alpine Mountaineering:    Interesting essays reviewed 06.01.05
  The Sport of Alpine Mountaineering
  Climbing Together
  Following the Leader
  The Mountaineers' Rope
  Basic Responsibilities       Cuatro Responsabiliades Basicas de Quienes Salen al Campo
  The Ten Essentials         Los Diez Sistemas Esenciales

  Our Leader's Guidelines:    Documents reviewed 06.01.05
  Our Volunteer Leader Guidelines
  Sign-in Agreements, Waivers and Prospectus     This pdf form will need to be signed by you at the trail head
  Sample Prospectus    Make sure every leader tells you what the group is going to do; print a copy for your "responsible person"
  Participant Information Form    This pdf form can be printed and mailed or handed to the Leader - if requested or required
  Emergency and Incident Report Form    Copy and print this form. Carry two copies with your Essentials 
  Participant and Group First Aid Kit    Print this form. Make up your own first aid essentials (kits) 

  Alpine climbing on snow and ice:    FAQs reviewed 06.01.05
European helicopter lands on Mount Everest's summit!
Bend based Mountain Link's JJ Justman team climbing Everest! 
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