7 summits by Microlight

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(UTC + 5:45)

News release: 26 Apr, Lukla





Two weeks in Kathmandu is enough for anyone... It's a great place but positively frantic, and you would only believe the traffic if you saw it.

At last we are on our way. We have a Nepali CAA permission 'to fly in the Everest region' for two weeks, apparently extendible so long as we don't make a fool of ourselves. We loaded everything into a huge MI-17 helicopter last night, the policy seems to be to fill them until they are full, luckily they have a capacity of 4 tonnes as all our kit plus fuel and oxygen was squashed in with bags of rice, drums of kerosine and of all things, cement! The thing has three or four crew, on this occasion, four; Russian Pilot, Nepali co-pilot and Russian flight engineer and loadmaster. There was standing room for one passenger, me.

45 minute flight into Lukla over some pretty awesome terrain. The crew pointed out the strips at Jiri and Paphlu which, apart from a couple of 'possibles' on ridges were the only possible microlight landing places.... Everest came into view a couple of times and then down into the Khumbu valley and the extraordinary strip at Lukla. Approach up the strip and then a hovering 180 to land on a small area next to the police post.

We managed to get all our kit out and in no time the helicopter was away for the next load of who-knows-what.

THE NORTH FACE clothing for extreme conditions
ALPHA emergency parachute
ICARO 2000 Hang Gliding World Champion
The FIAT group
PEGASUS AVIATION manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
PARAMINA; Suppliers of Oxygen equipment to the expedition
MAINAIR SPORTS  manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
Articole Studios - GRP mouldings
O-ZEE flight suits.  Suppliers of Bar-mitts to the expedition.
AdventureWeather.com providing Meteorological information to the expedition
SKYDRIVE, the UK Distributor of ROTAX engines
Mainair Sports; UK dealer for Warp Drive Propellors
Lyndhurst Touchdown Services.  Supplier of fuel system components to the expedition.
Industrial Pressure Testing Ltd; Suppliers of Oxygen cylinders to the expedition.
Neltec flexible heaters
BAILEY AVIATION manufacturers of Paramotors and automotive sport acessories
Quatar airways
FLYCOM Intercom and Radio equipment
Gerbings heated clothing
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7 May 2004
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