Helicopter Crash on Mountain a Russian MI-17 Crashes on Takeoff from Mount Everest Base Camp Nepal
Helicopter Crash on Mountain a Russian MI-17 Crashes on Taking off from a Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal, on May 28th 2003. An accident report on AERO News Network states -- "A Russian Mi-17 turbine helicopter, enroute to Base Camp with porters on their way to the 50th anniversary celebrations of Mount Everest's (29,002 feet) first climb, crashed Wednesday with at least three fatalities and seven reported injuries/survivors. The Mi-17 was based in Kathmandu and chartered from Simrik Air. On board were five porters, a mountain guide and four crew members. On its return the helo was to have picked up climbers that had just returned from having climbed the mountain in celebration of the May 29, 1953 ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. The accident, seen on video, shows the Mi-17 on approach to landing and veering off to the left, suddenly, in a descent to disappear beyond a ridge line. The sight of parts flying about, shortly thereafter, occurs (apparently) at impact. Two of the dead were reported as mountain porter Phudorji Sherpa and cabin attendant Anup Dewan. An airport official claimed that, "The chopper left Kathmandu in the morning but because of bad weather it stopped at Lukla airport (in NE Nepal) for some time. It later proceeded to the Base Camp and crashed nearby." Among the injured was a German woman, who had the misfortune to be walking near Base Camp when the helicopter crashed. Listed in serious condition are Cris Lising (of Germany), the helo's Nepalese captain, Rameswor Thapa, and flight engineer Kyraliyev Kachkynpay of Kazakhstan. Others reported injured include porters Chumbi Sherpa, Dil Bahadur Oli, Dawa Tshering and Phu Dorji Sherpa. Two persons were fortunate to merge from the crash unhurt."