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
|1||Wendy Smith||New Zealand||Solo||Crew|
|2||Lucie Fenton||UK||Tandem||With tandem master Tom Noonan|
|6||Nima Tamang||Nepal||Tandem||With tandem master Steve Hennessey|
|7||Cheri Alhegelan||USA||Tandem||With tandem master Ralph Mitchell|
|14||Adolphe Botha||South Africa||Solo|
|15||Thomas Laurie Hinds||UK||Solo|
|17||Maya Gurung||Nepal||Tandem||With tandem master Tom Noonan|
|19||Christophe de Pauw||Belgium||solo|
|20||Peter Baker||UK||Tandem||With tandem master Steve Hennessey|
|22||Molly Beddingfield||UK||Tandem||With tandem master Ralph Mitchell|
|23||Namira Salim||Pakistan||Tandem||With tandem master Tom Noonan|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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
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.
|4||Wendy Smith||New Zealand||Solo||Crew|
|5||Ganesh Pandey||Nepal||Tandem||With tandem master Tom Noonan|
|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.
|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.
|1||Wendy Smith||New Zealand||Solo||Crew|
|2||Bibek Pandey||Nepal||Tandem||With Tandem Master Tom Noonan|
|4||Ful Man Tamang||Nepal||Tandem||With Ryan Jackson|
|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.
|3||Nick Leventis||UK||Tandem||With Tandem masters Tom Noonan & Kevin Hardwick|
|4||Christopher Rainier||Canada||Tandem||With tandem master Tom Noonan|
|6||Wendy Smith||New Zealand||Solo||Crew|
|10||Joan Dru Nasher||USA||Tandem||With tandem master Tom Noonan|
|11||Klaus Leo Gachter||USA||Tandem||With tandem master Tom Noonan|