World’s highest-altitude longline rescue is performed by Eurocopter AS350
A record-breaking aerial rescue on Nepal’s Mount Annapurna was performed by a Eurocopter AS350B3 Ecureuil of Fishtail Air.
Three Spanish mountain climbers were successfully airlifted by the Fishtail Air AS350B3 from a 6,900 meter-high location using the “longline” technique, in which a rescuer is suspended at the end of a long rope for insertions/extractions from difficult terrain.
The April 29 operation was part of special rescue flights being performed in a cooperative effort involving Fishtail Air, a charter helicopter company based at Kathmandu, Nepal, and Switzerland’s Air Zermatt. Air Zermatt’s Capt. Daniel Aufdenblatten performed the rescue, while Swiss Mountain Guide Richard Lenner was deployed as a human sling to lift the stranded climbers on the longline – evacuating them one-by-one to a base camp at an altitude of 4,000 meters. The climbers had been stranded 36 hours on Mount Annapurna.
In addition to this difficult operation, Fishtail Air’s newest AS350B3 also rescued four Korean climbers and three Nepalese Sherpas on April 26 from Nepal’s Mount Manaslu, extracting them at an altitude of approximately 6,500 meters. Piloting the helicopter was Fishtail Capt. Sabin Basnyat, who was joined by Air Zermatt’s Daniel Aufdenblatten and Richi Lehner.