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Helicopter crashes at Everest Base Camp
09:59 a.m. EDT May 28, 2003
Nepal News reports that there was a helicopter crash this morning at 1016 local time at the South Side Everest base camp. It was carrying passengers, and various reports have the number of casualties ranging from 1 to 3, with as many as 6 who were seriously injured.

The cause of the crash is not known. An army helicopter has taken two of the seriously injured to Lukla, and another rescue helicopter has reached Base Camp. The nationality of the casualties are not yet confirmed, but according to the UK’s ITV they where Nepali nationals.

In 1997, a helicopter crashed in BC, however, no one was killed. The pilot was Colonel Madan, who had piloted the world’s highest helicopter rescue a year earlier. In 1996 he had flown above the icefall to rescue American Beck Weathers. Madan said of the 1997 crash that he had just lost complete control of the helicopter.

The thin air at base camp is a difficult environment for a helicopter’s blades to find purchase and create lift. Choppers flying that high can’t fly with as heavy as a load as they are used to.

ExplorersWeb archive image of military helicopter after 1997 crash

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