EVEREST SKYDIVE - 2019
Everest Skydive, one of the most exclusive adventure holidays in the Himalayas, has been organized in Everest Region since 2008. It takes place annually in autumn with some occasional special spring editions. This year the event took place both in spring and autumn. The special edition oragnized the record breaking parachute landing at West Col, Baruntse and autumn edition became successful in organizing the jumps for skydivers with prosthetic legs for the first time in the history of Everest Skydive.
Everest Skydive 2019 - Spring
Everest Skydive reached new heights this year with a record breaking parachute landing by Paul-Henry de Baere at 20,160ft MSL (6145m) at the West Col of Baruntse. The record setting skydive that occurred at 7:36AM GMT+5:45 on 19th May 2019 was made using a Performance Designs Navigator 240 main parachute with a wingloading 0.8 and into an 10kt headwind. Paul-Henry de Baere, who is the Media Director of Everest Skydive beat Everest Skydive’s all-time highest altitude landing record of 17,192ft MSL (5240m) set by Everest Skydive teammates Wendy Elizabeth Smith and Tom Noonan in 2009. The World Record jump was made from “The Dragon”, a Eurocopter B3 helicopter piloted by Deepak Jung Rana, Executive Director for Summit Helicopters and Captain Deepak Pun, with supplementary support provided by Simrik Air with Captain Siddhartha Gurung and Tsering Bothe. Everest Skydive’s Operations Director Tom Noonan managed the expedition’s oxygen support from Baruntse Base Camp at 17,857ft MSL (5443m) and Jean Yorick managed the drop zone set-up. The team of Explore Himalaya was responsible for the arrangement of the entire logistics and operation.
Explore Himalaya organized a felicitation program to honour Paul-Henry de Baere and Everest Skydive Team at Marcopolo Restaurant, Chhaya Center on 21st May. Paul-Henry de Baere, Tom Noonan and Jean Yorick were honored with garland and Khada by Bibhuti Chand Thakur - General Secretary PATA Nepal Chapter, Abdullah Tuncer Kececi – General Manager Turkish Airlines Nepal, Ramesh Kharel – Ex Nepal Police Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Rajan Pokhrel - Deputy Editor Himalayan Times and Abhinav JBR - Chairman of Turbo Motors Pvt. Ltd respectively. Mountaineers Maya Gurung and Pujan Acharya who climbed tallest mountains on all seven continents, international mountain journalist Billi Bierling, Miss Tourism Samriddhi Rai were also present in the program. A video of the record breaking landing was also premiered in the program. The program was moderated by Suman Pandey, the President of Explore Himalaya.
Everest Skydive 2019 – Autumn
Everest Skydive 2019, autumn edition was organized from 7th to 13th November at Syangboche Airport (3780m/12400ft). This year’s event which is its 14th edition was organized in two phases - first phase on 7th and 8th November and the second phase on 12th and 13th November. There were altogether 7 skydivers (4 solo and 3 tandem jumpers) - Osama A Na Akamshad (Kuwait), Aliaa F A H A Khaja (Kuwait), Al Hodgson ((UK), Pixie MacLeod-hodgson (UK), Ricke Charles White (USA), Lynn Nordstrom Manning (USA) and Anuj Pandey (Nepal). Osama A Na Akamshad and Al Hodgson became the first two skydivers with prosthetic legs to do Everest Skydive. The event was supported by the crew team of Paul Henry de Baere (France) - Media & Communication Director and Videographer, Wendy Smith (New Zealand) - Chief Advisor and Videographer, Omar Alhegelan (USA) - Videographer, Nadedza Solovyeva (Russia) – Videographer, Anton Gilev (Russia) – Tandem Master, Kim Bo Larsen (Denmark) – Tandem Master, Gregory Rau (USA) – Logistics and Yorick Vion (France) - Ground Support; and the professional team of Explore Himalaya. All the flights were executed by AS350 B3 Summit Helicopters.
First Phase (7th and 8th November):
The first day’s jump which had altogether 3 lifts started at 8:45 am and finished at 11:32 am. The first lift had solo jumper Osama A Na Akamshad and videographer Paul Henry de Baere. The jump was successfully executed from the height of 20,000ft and concluded with a perfect landing on Syangboche airstrip. Osama A Na Akamshad became the first skydiver with prosthetic legs to do Everest Skydive. The second jump had 2 members – solo skydiver Aliaa F A H A Khaja and videographer Nadezda Solovyeva. The final jump of the day which took place at 11:02 am was done by Osama A Na Akamshad and Aliaa F A H A Khaja again with video crew Paul Henry and Nadezda Solovyeva. On the second day i.e. 8th November, there were altogether two lifts. The first lift took place at 7:15 am with two crew members Kimbo Larsen and Anton Gilev. The second lift took off with tandem passenger Anuj Pandey, tandem master Anton Gilev and videographer Nadedza Solovyeva. The jump concluded the first phase of Everest Skydive 2019.
Second Phase (12th and 13th November):
There were altogether 4 lifts in the second phase. On 12th November, the first lift took off at 8:45 am with tandem passenger Lynn Norstorm Manning, tandem master Anton Gilev and videographer Nadezda Solovyeva. The second lift which took place at 9:30 am also had three members - tandem passenger Ricke Charles White and crew members Anton Gilev and Nadezda Solovyeva. On the second day, the jump started at 8:30 am with 4 members in which Al Hodgson and Pixie MacLeod-hodgson did solo jumps with videographers Wendy Smith and Omar Alhegelan. Al Hodgson, also a skydiver with prosthetic legs, became successful in enlisting his name in the record book of Everest Skydive. In the second lift, the same team took off at 10:00 am, jumped from higher altitude and landed at 10:32 am. The jump drew the event to a close for this year.