Highest Skydive over Everest
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Everest Skydive History

Everest Skydive 2008 (4-11 October) – Shyangboche Dropzone (1,2350 ft) 
First commercial operation in October 2008

High & Wild, UK and Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure Everest Skydive 2008 organised the first Everest Skydive at Syangboche (12,350ft) in Solokhumbu District. This unique event drew the attention of millions of people from around the world to the hilly Everest region of Nepal.

Syangboche, the highest drop zone in the world, lies 12 miles southwest of Everest Base Camp and 17.5 miles from its summit. The Everest Skydivers jumped from 29,500ft, which is higher than Everest, which makes the event the “Highest Skydive in the World”.

Flying from above the highest point on earth, amidst magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks, was probably the most thrilling and exciting experience of most of the skydivers’ lives. Following the success of Everest Skydive 2008, the event became a  “dream” for many skydivers around the world and it could soon attract more people to Nepal than expeditions to Mount Everest.

The event was covered by more than 500 international as well as national media and media representatives at the drop zone included Kantipur, Avenues Television, Channel 5, UK, etc.

Highlights and International Records – Everest Skydive 2008

Everest Skydive 2008 made it into the record books. The event can be dubbed as the most exciting Himalayan adventure. The skydiving event held the world enthralled as divers hurtled from above the world’s highest peak, freefalling for a few minutes before opening their parachute and landing on the highest drop zone in the world, Syangboche.

The major highlights and list of the world records made during the event are as follows:

1. Skydiving event from the highest altitude ever – 29,500ft, above Everest

2. Highest drop zone in the world – 12,350ft, Syangboche

3. The first skydiving event held in the Himalaya

4. The first skydiving event with  41 skydivers doing 50 solos and 19 tandem jumps from a height of 29,500ft, 22,500ft, 22,000ft, 19,000ft, 18,500ft and 18,000ft

5. The only skydiver with the highest number of solo jumps made from above 22,000ft – Wendy Smith of New Zealand, with nine solo jumps (including eight jumps from 29,500ft and one from 22,000ft)

6. First person to summit Mt. Everest as well as skydive in front of Everest – Maya Gurung (Nepal)

7. First solo diver of the event – Wendy Smith (New Zealand)

8. First tandem jump – Lucie Fenton (UK) & Tom Noonan (USA)

9. First Iraqi to make a solo jump from 29,500ft – Fareed Lafta

10. First Swedish to make a solo jump from a height of 29,500f t- Herman S. Duscher

11. First Danish to make a tandem jump from 29,500ft – Per Wimmer

12. First South African to make a solo jump from 29,500ft – Adolphe Botha

13. First Belgian to make a solo jump from an altitude of 29,500ft – Christophe De Pauw

14. First Asian and Pakistani to make a tandem jump from a height of 29,500ft – Namira Salim

15. First Nepali to make a tandem jump from 22,000ft – Nima Tamang

16. First Nepali woman to make a tandem jump from 22,500ft – Maya Gurung

17. First Arab to make a solo jump from 29,500ft – Naseer Alneyadi

18. First Canadian to jump from a height of 29,500ft – Neil Jones

19. First father & son duo to make tandem jumps from a height of 29,500ft during the same event – Scott & Lou Diesel from the USA

20. First British woman skydiver to make a solo jump from a height of 29,500ft – Holly Budge

21. First American solo jumper of the event – Omar Alhegelan

22. First Australian to make the highest (29,500ft) tandem jump – Steve Hennessey

23. First person with gender reassignment (from male to female) to make the highest tandem jump (29,500ft) – Kate Craig-Wood (UK)

24. Two World Champions, Omar Alhegelan from the USA and Ms. Wendy Smith from New Zealand took part as members of the Crew team.

25. Jumps were made between the heights of 18,000 to 29,500ft.

26. Ms. Holly Budge (UK), Neil Jones (UK) and Wendy Smith (New Zealand) were the first three solo jumpers to jump from the height of 29,500 ft.

27. Per Thanning Wimmer from Denmark (millionaire) was the first to make a tandem jump as passenger from the height of 29,500ft along with Ralph Mitchell, a British Tandem Master.

28. Molly Anne Bedingfield, founder of the charity mission „Global Angeles‟, and mother of famous pop singers Natasha and Daniel Bedingfield, made a tandem jump from 29,500ft to raise US $ 1 million for the charity that helps orphanages and street children from all over the world, including Nepal. She had already raised US $ 300,000 till date.

29. All together, the Pilatus Porter Aircraft of Swissboogie operated 22 flights. The aircraft was specially flown in from Switzerland.

30. Twenty-two trekking members joined the trip as observers.

31. All the jumps were planned and regulated by the team of Dave Wood from the UK.

32. The famous British aeronautical scientist, Andy Elson developed a special oxygen system for this event. Elson is also well known for flying over Everest in a hot air balloon in 1990.

33. All clothes, including the jump suits, were made in Nepal. Rajen Dulal is a young entrepreneur, who has workshop in Thamel.

34. The British television company, “Channel 5‟ made a film about the event and had a daily live-link. The BBC, TV3 New Zealand, Australian Television, Al Jazeera, CNN and other TV stations also covered the event.

35. Everest Sky Dive 2008 has become the most widely covered and publicised tourism event by international media, after the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the First Ascent of Mt. Everest in 2003.

36. Everest Skydive hit the international tourism market as a brand-new and most remarkable product from the Nepalese Tourism Industry.

37. International tourism experts believe that Everest Skydive will bring more people to Nepal in future than expeditions to Everest.

38. Everest Skydive 2008 is a milestone in the history of Everest – after its first ascent by Tenzing and Hillary in 1953.

39. More then 100 Nepalese were involved in making this event happen. Fishtail Air helicopters were on standby for rescue operations during the event.

Names of Skydivers – Everest Skydive 2008

2008 Everest skydivers Name
SN Name Country Jump(Solo/Tandem) Remarks
1 Wendy Smith New Zealand Solo Crew
2 Lucie Fenton UK Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
3 Tom Noonan (USA) Tandem Crew
4 Omar Alhegelan USA Solo Crew
5 Steve Hennessey Australia Tandem Crew
6 Nima Tamang Nepal Tandem With tandem master Steve Hennessey
7 Cheri Alhegelan USA Tandem With tandem master Ralph Mitchell
8 Ralph Mitchell UK Tandem Crew
9 Neil Jones Canada Solo
10 Chris Parsons UK Solo
11 Derek Thomas USA Solo Crew
12 Holly Budge UK Solo
13 Ryan Jackson UK Solo Crew
14 Adolphe Botha South Africa Solo
15 Thomas Laurie Hinds UK Solo
16 Carrie Holmes USA Solo
17 Maya Gurung Nepal Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
18 Fareed Lafta Iraq solo
19 Christophe de Pauw Belgium solo
20 Peter Baker UK Tandem With tandem master Steve Hennessey
21 Martin Preston UK Solo
22 Molly Beddingfield UK Tandem With tandem master Ralph Mitchell
23 Namira Salim Pakistan Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
24 Dean Edwards UK Solo
25 William Thomason New Zealand Tandem With tandem master Steve Hennessey
26 Derek Cornelius UK Tandem With tandem master Ralph Mitchell
27 Ron Hudson USA Tandem With tandem master Steve Hennessey
28 Howard Shao USA Tandem With tandem master Ralph Mitchell
29 Herman S.Duscher Sweden Solo Solo
30 Djuan Rivers USA Tandem With tandem master Steve Hennessey
31 Kate Craigwood Uk Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
32 Jane Dougall Uk Tandem With tandem master Ralph Mitchell
33 Harold Watkins Uk Tandem With tandem master Steve Hennessey
34 Darren Thatcher Uk Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
35 Naseer Alneyadi UAE Solo Solo
36 Per Wimmer Denmark Tandem With tandem master Ralph Mitchell
37 Lou Diesel USA Tandem With tandem master Steve Hennessey
38 Scott Diesel USA Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
39 Simon Repton UK Solo
40 Mark Finch UK Solo Crew
41 Leigh Pretty UK Solo

 

Everest Skydive 2008 Closing Ceremony- 14th October, 2008

The closing ceremony for Everest Skydive 2008 took place at the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) on 14 October 2008. NTB hosted the function and saw the attendance of the crew and members of Everest Skydive, dignitaries and officials from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, tourism entrepreneurs, media persons and the staff of Explore Himalaya and Fishtail Air. The chief guest was Mr.Prachanda Man Shrestha, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board. Mr. Suman Pandey, President of Explore Himalaya, delivered the welcome speech. In his welcome address, he mentioned the major highlights of Everest Sky Dive 2008.  Nigel Gifford, Managing Director of High & Wild UK and founder of Everest Sky Dive also spoke on the occasion. He expressed his gratitude to the Government of Nepal and all concerned for making the event happen.

An incredible aerial video footage taken by Wendy Smith, Director of Aerial photography, of the Everest Skydive, was shown at the end of the program.

The closing ceremony also had Molly Bedingfield, founder of the international charity, “Global Angles,” and a tandem jumper during the event, announcing a donation of US $ 2,00,000/- to ‘The Childrens’ Home Orphanage ‘ located in Khokana, Lalitpur.



Everest Skydive 2009

Drop Zone – Shyangboche (12,350 ft / 3720m), October 16-17, 2009

On 16th and 17th October, 2009 seven skydivers from the Everest Skydive skydiving team performed

solo and tandem jumps at Shyangboche (12,350 feet).

On 16th October, five members skydived from a height of 25,000 feet. Tom Noonan (USA), Ian Bishop

(Australia) and Jai Kishan (India) made solo jumps. In the second group, Wendy Smith (New Zealand)

jumped solo, while Ganesh Pandey (Nepal) made a tandem jump with tandem master Tom Noonan

(USA) .

On 17th October, Wendy Smith (New Zealand), Jai Kishan (India) and Mary Noonan (USA) made solo

jumps from a height of 27,500ft. While Everest submitter, Pujan Acharya (Nepal) made a tandem jump

from a height of 29,300 feet, with tandem master Tom Noonan (USA).

The jumps over Shyangboche were made from Tara Air’s Pilatus Porter aircraft, flown by Capt Jack

Sparrow (UK) and PrafulBaidya (Nepal). Capt Jack Sparrow, an experienced pilot, has performed more

than 4,000 lifts (flights for skydiving) for skydivers in Europe and is preparing to launch a skydiving club

in Thailand, which will be the first in Asia.

SN Name Country Jump(Solo/Tandem) Remarks
1 Tom Noonan USA Tandem Crew
2 Ian Bishop Australia Solo
3 Jai Kishan India Solo
4 Wendy Smith New Zealand Solo Crew
5 Ganesh Pandey Nepal Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
6 Mary Noonan USA Solo Crew
7 Pujan Acharya Nepal Tandem With Tandem master Tom Noonan

 

Drop Zone – Gorakh Shep, KalaPatthar Plateau (17,192 ft/5,242m), October 28th, 2009

On October 28, 2009  World skydiving champion Wendy Smith from New Zealand,Global Angels ambassador and tandem master Tom Noonan and Wing Commander Jai Kishan from the Indian Air Force, made a successful landing at the Gorak Shep, Kala Patthar plateau, lying at an altitude of 17,192 feet (5,242m), right beside Mt. Everest.

This is believed to be the highest skydiving stunt performed over highest drop zone in the world.
The operation was carried out from Fishtail Air’s AS 350 B3 helicopter flown by Capt. Sabin Basnet and
Capt. Deepak Rana. The dives were performed in the morning of 28th October. The helicopter took off
with the skydiving team from Shyangboche airport and flew to a height of 23,000 feet before dropping
from 21,000 feet at right air layer.

SN Name Country Jump(Solo/Tandem) Remarks
1 Tom Noonan USA Solo World record
2 Jai Kishan India Solo World record
3 Wendy Smith New Zealand Solo World record

Everest Skydive 2010

Everest Skydive 2010 – Spring (May 16-20),Shyangboche Drop Zone

 

Everest skydive was organized at Shyangboche drop zone from 16th to 20th May 2010. The event went as follows:

16th May, 2010 – 1 lift

Test jumps for Everest Skydive 2010 were performed at Shyangboche at 9:35 AM (local time). 1 solo and 2 tandem jumps were made from above 20,000 feet. Wendy Smith (New Zealand) jumped solo from 27,000 feet, while Bibek Pandey (Nepal) made a tandem jump with tandem master Tom Noonan (USA). Likewise Ful Man Tamang (Nepal) too jumped tandem with Dr.Ryan Jackson(UK).

17th May , 2010 – 2 lifts

The jumps were held at 8:15 AM (local time).

First Lift – James Robert & Ryan Jackson made test jumps from 18,000 feet. Nik Halik (Australia) made a tandem jump with tandem master Tom Noonan from 29,500 feet. Wendy Smith jumped solo as Camera Flier from 29,500 feet.

Second Lift – Jean Claude Mario (France) did a test jump from 18000 feet and Tom Noonan jumped solo from 25,000ft. Dr. Ryan & Dik Bahadur Khirsina (Nepal) made a tandem jump from 25000ft.

18th & 19th May, 2010

Jumps cancelled due to bad weather.

20th May, 2010 – 1 lift

Jean Claude Mario (France) took Myriam Mura (France) on tandem jump, while James Robert (UK), Ryan Jackson (UK) and Wendy Smith (New Zealand) made solo jumps. The jumps were made from 29,500 ft. These were the last jumps and the event came to a close.

SN Name Country Jump(Solo/Tandem) Remark
1 Wendy Smith New Zealand Solo Crew
2 Bibek Pandey Nepal Tandem With Tandem Master Tom Noonan
3 Tom Noonan USA Tandem Crew
4 Ful Man Tamang Nepal Tandem With Ryan Jackson
5 Ryan Jackson UK Tandem Crew
6 James Robert UK Solo
7 Nik Halik Australia Solo
8 Jean Claude Mario France Solo
9 Dik Bahadur Khirsina Nepal Tandem With Ryan Jackson
10 Myriam Mura France Tandem With Mario

Everest Skydive 2010 –Autumn (October14 -19)Shyangboche Drop Zone

Test jumps for the Autumn edition of Everest Skydive 2010 took place at Shyangboche (12,350 feet) dropzone on 13th October 2010. Derek Thomas (UK) jumped solo from 25,000 feet while tandem master Kevin Hardwick(UK) made a tandem jump with German camera flier/ television producer Alex Behse from the same height. Both the jumps were made from Tara Air’s Pilatus porter aircraft at around 12 noon(local time).

October 14th 2010

British British racing driver  Nick Leventis made a tandem leap from 27,500 feet above Mount Everest at Shyangboche dropzone around 13:00 hrs(local time).Accompanyning him was tandem master Kevin Hardwick (British).

A well known personality in the racing circuit, Leventis’ Strakka Racing Team won the LMP2 class this year at the Le Mans 24 Hour Race. He is the ambassador of Global Angels and the jump was made in support of Global Angels Foundation, an international charity supporting Asia’s most disadvantaged children. Solo jumps were made by Wendy Smith and Ryan Jackson from the same height.

October 15, 2010 – Shyangboche Drop Zone

First Lift (8:45 AM) – 21,000 feet

On the first lift, Derek Thomas(British), Roger Hoe(British) and Peter Rottele(German) made solo jumps from 21,000 feet while Klaus Leo Gachter(American) jumped tandem with tandem master Kevin Hardwick(British) from the same height.

Second lift(9:10 AM)- 29,5000 feet

Second lift saw the skydivers leaping from 29,500 feet. Wendy Smith(Kiwi) made a solo dive while Joan Dru Nasher(American) dived tandem with tandem master Tom Noonan(American).

Third Lift(12:30 PM)- 27,000 feet

The third lift had Ryan Jackson(British) making a solo leap and Klaus Leo Gachter and Tom Noonan doing tandem from a height of 27,000 feet.

19th October, 2010

After three days of bad weather, the sky at Shyangboche finally cleared up. Since early morning there was hectic activity at the drop zone as ESD crew and group members prepared for the jumps. Between 8 to 9 AM (local time) the PC-6 aircraft took off.

The first lift had Christopher Rainier from Canada making a tandem jump with Tom Noonan, while Wendy Smith and Ryan Jackson jumped solo from a height of 29,500 feet.

The second lift saw British racing pro Nick Leventis making a record breaking tandem leap with tandem master Tom Noonan from a height of 30,000 feet: a new Everest Skydive & WORLD record. No skydiver had ever attempted a jump from this height at this altitude. Wendy (with her camera), jumped solo and captured Nick & Tom’s free fall.

20th October, 2010

Peter Rottele (Germany), Roger Hoe(UK), Ryan Jackson(UK) and Kevin Hardwick(UK) jumped solo from 28,000 feet. Roger, who is 65 years old, became the oldest skydiver to jump solo from this height.

SN Name Country Jump(Solo/Tandem) Remarks
1 Roger Hoe UK Solo
2 Peter Rotelle Germany Solo
3 Nick Leventis UK Tandem With Tandem masters Tom Noonan & Kevin Hardwick
4 Christopher Rainier Canada Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
5 Tom Noonan USA Tandem Crew
6 Wendy Smith New Zealand Solo Crew
7 Ryan Jackson Britain Tandem Crew
8 Derek Thomas Solo Crew
9 Kevin Hardwick UK Tandem Crew
10 Joan Dru Nasher USA Tandem With tandem master  Tom Noonan
11 Klaus Leo Gachter USA Tandem With tandem master Tom Noonan
12 Alex Behse Germany Tandem Crew

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