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Helicopter lands on top of Mt. Everest

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Helicopter lands on top of Mt. Everest

Old 7th Jun 2005, 11:58
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The great thing about the FAI is that they are fully independant, and they demand documentation, typically a sealed barograph, wired into the squat switch. The seal is placed by the FAI official, who then takes the device away as proof of the event. When the homologate (great word!) the record, it will truly verify the event.
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Old 7th Jun 2005, 12:18
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So it would appear from wishtobeflying’s post that Eurocopter has declined the escape route offered, which would have enabled them to exit gracefully from this disagreement with the Nepalese authorities, by admitting that they had been ‘mistaken’ about the Everest landing; and has decided to play ‘hardball’.

There are two elements to this issue that haven’t been mentioned before on this thread that are perhaps worth considering.

1. That the AS 350B3 is/was foreign (French) registered and had a foreigner (Frenchman) as a pilot and as such is subject to being granted ‘over flight and landing’ approval for each, or each series, of flights. This all at a time when the Government's sensitivity is elevated due to the heightened political tension and ‘incipient’ civil war conditions in Nepal.

2. That the aircraft was on a test programme that took it outside of the approved flight envelope. It is probable therefore that the aircraft’s French Certificate of Airworthiness was not valid and that Eurocopter were operating under an airworthiness approval issued by the Nepalese Airworthiness authorities.

This is all intimated in the statement in wishtobeflying’s post where Eurocopter are reported as saying: “…“Everest High Altitude Heli Flight Test”, including landings and take-offs” as per Eurocopter flight test programme given to CAAN in March 2005.”

The question that perhaps now needs to be asked is did Eurocopter state in their Flight Test Programme that they were going to land at 8850m? If not, which I suspect is the case, then Nepal’s position will probably remain that it wasn’t in the programme, it wasn’t approved and therefore it couldn’t have happened.

Whether or not the landing on Everest took place is no longer the issue. It is now a war of words between the western world’s leading helicopter manufacturer and a sovereign government, all be it of third world status, who up to now had been included in Eurocopter’s list of relatively satisfied customers.
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Old 7th Jun 2005, 13:42
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ShortShaft.. "the aircraft’s French Certificate of Airworthiness" is irrelevant as it was flying on the F-W series of registrations (test reg's for flying objects WITHOUT a CofA) - so this was presumably a test flight and did not need a CofA
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Old 7th Jun 2005, 14:56
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Nick and PPheli

came through again with some proper details which I am far more interested.

Thanks guys.
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Old 7th Jun 2005, 16:51
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From the FAI web site, clear indications that EC has applied for the record as stated in their press release. This surely means they did it, one cannot imagine any company setting themselves up for such a fall (unlike WMD claims!).

Make no bones about it, this is a major accomplishment, far beyond what anyone has done. It is clear that the aircraft was over stressed (in a manner of speaking) and it was not a "serial" aircraft from that respect. In other words, if I go 20% over gross weight, or 20% beyond published torque limits, I can't claim it was done with a "normal" aircraft. NASCAR fans understant this well, and won't try to go 200 mph because a "stock" car did so at Daytona.

This is the snatch from the FAI website for news of pending records:

Sub-class : E-1 (Helicopters)
Category : General
Group 2 : turbine

Highest take-off : 8 850 m

Date of flight: 14/05/2005
Pilot: Didier DELSALLE (France)
Course/place: Mount Everest (Nepal)

Rotorcraft:
Eurocopter AS 350 B3

File not yet received | Database ID 11596


http://records.fai.org/rotorcraft/pending.asp

Last edited by NickLappos; 7th Jun 2005 at 17:02.
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Old 8th Jun 2005, 12:45
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Fantastic effort and well done to the frogs.

Might even manage to cancel out their defeat on the european community

Keep it coming.
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Old 8th Jun 2005, 17:16
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Mount Everest landing and take-off : Eurocopter statement

Marignane, June 7, 2005

Further to the Civil Aviation Authorities of Nepal (CAAN) statement released from Katmandou on June 3rd, 2005, Eurocopter does confirm that its serial Ecureuil AS 350B3 did achieve the World Record performance of high altitude landing and take-off on Mount Everest (8850m) on May 14th and 15th 2005 as per FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) standards.

Eurocopter regrets the misunderstanding with the CAAN.

Indeed the permission given by the CAAN to the Eurocopter team was very clear and did concern “Everest High Altitude Heli Flight Test”, including landings and take-offs” as per Eurocopter flight test programme given to CAAN in March 2005.

This Mount Everest landing and take-off feat has been performed under control of a FAI Official Observer and according to the FAI rules, i.e. “the touch down/take-off ensure that the rotorcraft maintains contact with the ground at least 2mn”.

This World Record is currently under validation.

As shown in the video on our Eurocopter website (www.eurocopter.com/everest ) this was the case as the Ecureuil AS350B3 remained landed 3mn 50 on May 14th and over 4mn on the next day.
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Old 8th Jun 2005, 17:19
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Why i couldn't leave the feeling behind me, that some of you guys seems to wish, it was a PR joke?

I doesn't know the near circumstances about this record, but i'm shure that ECF is long enough in the business and they don't need lies . ECF is very good in in the market, some people say they dominate the single turbine market and their twins like EC 155 or Puma/ SuperPuma are also not hangarqueens.

May be they used a engine above the red line. Any pilot should know that engine isn't engine and important is only to have the promised power to the customer. But some engines have 10-20% more power direct from the production line. And such ++powered engines are also still "serial engines".

Anyway this flight is a milestone in the rotary world and any helicopterpilot should therefore be glad to be in this business. And Didier is still a collegue of you. Some nice collegues here! All i could say to such collegues is, first think and then write.

Methods like "instrument recalibration", engines above the red lines or "single way transmissions" are not uncommon in this business to reach records. But i don't say that there was anything like that in this record. If anybody doesn't believe, he should buy the Joe Mashman book "To fly like a bird". A former Bell Testpilot btw.

But no "instrument recalibration" helps the pilot to fly the ship. I'm shure that not many pilots of this thread and in this forum have ever flown their helicopter in the RFM certified max. altitude. Therefore they couldn't imagine the challenge to fly and to land a ship on such altitude and on such environment and the special performance Didier showed.

Last edited by tecpilot; 8th Jun 2005 at 21:06.
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Old 8th Jun 2005, 23:45
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Great news. Let's hope the FAI will ratify the record soon and silence the doubters, and frog bashers. A great achievement is just that and those who try to belittle it through jealousy, envy or other base motives only belittle themselves.
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Old 9th Jun 2005, 05:57
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Great achievement by Eurocopter!

It is great to see on the video, how much tail rotor authority the guy has on the top.

May I point out that Aesir is a FAI delegate, CIG Rotorcraft commission for Iceland and i guess he is in on things there.
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Old 21st Jun 2005, 15:37
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Although stripped of interior fittings and unnecessary equipment to save 120kg (265lb) the a/c was a standard production helicopter owned by a french private operator. Gross weight on the record flight was 1260kg (2778lb) incl. 80kg fuel.
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Old 15th Aug 2005, 15:30
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According to Rotorhub, the debate over the record landing continues, with the Nepalese govt. lobbying the ICAO and others to take action against EC. Interesting to read that Nepal considers itself powerless to undertake action against EC directly. I suppose the good folks at the FAI must be used to being embroiled in the kind of politics which surrounds world records.

News story here.

I/C
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Old 2nd Mar 2006, 20:48
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Talking Mount Everest

Anyone seen this:
Video
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Old 2nd Mar 2006, 21:02
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Old news.
http://www.eurocopter.com/everest/
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Old 3rd Mar 2006, 02:51
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I even touched that very helicopter at Heli-Expo. Right down low on the skid - closes I'll ever get to the top of Everest!
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Old 3rd Mar 2006, 12:02
  #96 (permalink)  
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Yes it was at HAI, way up there. No non-essential equipment on that one.......Im sure now someone will have to be the first Twin up there, first women up there, first conjugal flight up there until the mountain has more aluminum on it than dead climbers........
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Old 3rd Mar 2006, 14:45
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I was told the AS350B3 on display at HAI wasn't the actual helicopter that landed on Everest ... only one painted to look similar.

What were those flags hanging from the rotor? I suddenly felt like I was at a used car lot! Oooooh I'm mean!
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Old 16th Feb 2017, 01:27
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Helicopter Lands on Everest Summit

Helicopter Lands on Everest Summit - World Altitude Record for Landing and Takeoff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEPJzEpWJTc
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Old 18th Feb 2017, 17:03
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Could anyone confirm or deny the barograph used by EC for certification was designed for a glider and at zero forward speed it stops recording, so two flights were made before they found out the problem?
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Old 18th Feb 2017, 22:29
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Pablo,

At the time there was some media noise suggesting some confusion with permits from the Nepalese government, meaning the flight had to be done with the correct permit to be official.

I don't recall anything about a barograph, but that may have been a bonus. Regardless, the footage confirms the site and the achievement.
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