Flight to the Heart of the Himalaya
The normal way for most expeditions to begin their journey to Everest is via the famous Kathmandu to Lukla mountain flight ... a forty-five minute white knuckle ride that some call 'the most dangerous air journey in the world'.
The age of the aircraft is one factor; the weather is another. Pilots are often forced to navigate through thick cloud in the midst of the world's greatest mountains. But the main reason passengers view the flight with fear is the radical airstrip at Lukla, one of the steepest and shortest in the world! Sadly the strip has been the scene of numerous fatal air crashes over the years.
Our journey went exactly to plan. Taking off from Kathmandu and skimming over mountain passes in crystal clear morning light. On the horizon we could see spectacular mountains, with Everest centre stage. It was a thrilling way to begin our journey to the mighty mountain and, even better, all of our baggage arrived about three hours later!
The flight to Lukla has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous in the world. © Matt Dickinson
The pilots navigate the small aircraft right into the heart of the Himalaya. © Matt Dickinson
Taking off from Kathmandu. © Matt Dickinson
Me with expedition leader David Hamilton on board the Lukla flight. © Matt Dickinson
Safe arrival at Lukla! © Matt Dickinson
The runway at Lukla is extremely short and can be closed for days when the weather is bad. © Matt Dickinson