7 summits by Microlight

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25 Oct 2006 FAI Gold Air medal
1 Dec 2005, Aconcagua expedition
4 Feb 2005, RAeC Awards
16 Dec, RAeC Britannia Trophy
1 Jan 2005, 3rd place Best of ExplorersWeb 2004 Awards
1 June, Home
22 May, Fog again
23 May, Hollywood
24 May, Full story
24 May, Summited!
21 May, Nearly
20 May, Rain
19 May, Flora
18 May, Smelly socks
16 May, Line break
17 May
15 May, A narrow escape
14 May, Fog
13 May, Camp life
12 May, Runway repairs
11 May, Yaks, Naks & Jopkyoks
10 May, Syangboche
9 May, fog
8 May, Everest in sight!
19 Apr, Pokhara
23 Apr, Oxygen
26 Apr, Lukla
5 May, Still Lukla
6 May, We have fuel!
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30 Mar, Kit despatched
6 Mar 25,280 ft
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31 Jan
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Lukla airfield
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Hang gliders and Paragliders

(UTC + 5:45)

News release: 8 May, Everest in sight!



Today we did our first aerotow out of Lukla. The launch went perfectly, the Bailey Aviation super trolley worked as advertised, Angelo was in the air in 50m and it stopped 20m after that, the tug only needed about 70m to get airborne, and this all at 9100ft although aided by the smooth surface and steep slope of the airstrip.

The plan was for Angelo to release at a reasonable height over Lukla and return before 7am and the 'rush hour', whilst I flew on up to Syangboche (about 15 minutes flying or two days's walk) to inspect the strip there and return after 9 or so after the really busy traffic had finished to report on its suitability for our operations.

The flight up there was perfectly calm with glorious views of the Everesr massif. This time I had a chance to take a few photos. Up over Namche Bazaar with its distinctive horseshoe shape to Syangboche airstrip above it. It is a much more pleasant place to be than Lukla although we will be foregoing our luxury en-suite bedrooms, hot water bottles and excellent chef for tents and rather more basic fare, however the panorama is simply stupendous and we will be in a much better position to run the expedition without the restrictions and hazards of Lukla airport.

Considering Syangboche airstrip hasn't been used by an aeroplane in 6 years, and has been abused by very heavy Russian helicopters it is in suprisingly good shape. It is mostly short thin grass with many fewer stones than I had been expecting, not the smoothest strip in the world, but no worse than a poor to average grass field in UK. There is a bad bit caused by water runoff in the middle, but this shouldn't take too long to repair. In all there is over 400m of usable runway and it is very wide.

The film crew 'advance party' have been here several days and were a little impatient for some action, why aren't you coming back this afternoon with Angelo? they asked. Well there is a simple answer to that, as I write this Lukla is in a fog. It is a bad idea to fly after about 10am here, that's what the last remaining Pilatus Porter was doing immediately before it's demise on a rock face opposite Namche. There is actually 5 hours of daylight before 10am so for us it is not highly restrictive.

Our agents have already set up all the tents, etc. at Syangboche and the camp is fully functional. I will be towing Angelo up there tomorrow, all out kit will depart on the backs of a fleet of porters and the rest of the team will follow them. They should arrive there in two or possibly three days.

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