Eurocopter has released a gallery showing the landing of its Ecureuil/AStar AS 350 B3 helicopter piloted by Didier Delsalle on Mount Everest on May 14 and May 15.
The “money shot” of the actual landing ain’t too sexy — the landing gear sort of quivering in the snow. It’s shot by in the onboard video cameras but it is convincing. This of course gives rise to the question — if you driven or flown to the summit but not actually gotten out have you actually visited it?
Eurcopter offers a 17 meg mov or wmv movie of the landing.
We have a 2 meg mpg of the money shot from the video.
The website has some cool photos including this one:
Needless to say backcountry groups have lit up with this. The County Highpointers had about as spirited debate as I’ve ever seen there — focusing on whether it counts if you fly or drive to a summit (consensus now seems to follow the Highpointers methodology — all that matters is that you got to the top, it doesn’t matter how).
Official Eurocopter Press Release.
More info and links (INCLUDING A SMALLER 2 MEG MOVIE OF THE ACTUAL LANDING)