New Delhi (PTI): An Indian Air Force Cheetah helicopter created a world record by landing 23,240 ft on Kamet glacier in the Garhwal Himalayas to rescue three critically injured climbers.
The operation was carried out by Wing Commander S.K. Sharma and his co-pilot Flight Lieutenant A.P. Dhanake, who flew the rescue missions on May 11, 12 and 13 in turbulent conditions and in the face of jet-speed winds.
Recounting the mission, Sharma told reporters on Monday that it was the first time that Cheetah helicopters had landed at such altitudes and the pilots had to take off their oxygen masks to save the climbers.
“The landing was done much above the service ceiling of the French helicopter, made under license here,” said the pilot. The helicopter’s height ceiling, according to the operating manual, is about 23,000 ft.