Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings- Risky or Exciting?

Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings- Risky or Exciting?

I might not be wrong to state that it is every travel enthusiast’s dream to view and be at Everest at least once in their lifetime. It is a great pride to indulge in the highest point on earth and the highest monument mother nature has ever invented. There are three ways for travellers to get to Mount Everest.

  1. Climbing the Mount Everest 
  2. Trekking to Everest base camp and
  3. Mountain flights/Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings

Among these three, the Everest base camp helicopter tour with landings is regarded as the shortest, most exciting, and also the most affordable way to view Everest. Since this view option does not have any physical and age restrictions, you can even book a helicopter and enjoy the stunning Everest in less than one hour from Kathmandu. While everyone appreciates the thrill of the Everest base camp helicopter tour, travellers are often worried if it is safe for them. So, this article is about whether the Everest base camp helicopter tour with landing is life-threatening or just a harmless adventure. 

Perks of Everest base camp helicopter tour with Landings

The Everest base camp helicopter will obviously be the most scenic flight you have ever witnessed in your life. The thrill of flying right above the Himalayas is already very exciting. And if you get to land at one of those Himalayas, you have the opportunity to capture some of the most interesting photos and videos of your entire life. Here is what you can expect from the Everest base camp helicopter tour. 

Stunning bird-eye mountain views

 During this Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings, one gets to view Mount Everest from the top, and you will also view the 8000 m Mountains that are Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. With that, you also get to witness another peak from a distance that includes Island Peak, Mera Peak, Lobuche Peak and more. This area has multiple 6000 and 7000 m mountain peaks that you can all visit during a single flight. 

Landing at multiple points

 The biggest perk of an Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings is that you get to land at more than three spots during the Tour. But you can only see the mountains below you during a helicopter flight. However, when you land right at the Everest base camp, you can touch the mountain and feel its chilled air. You can also capture amazing photos of yourself and have the best time of your life with the Himalayas. Now, each landing spot has its own perks. For example, landing in Lukla gives you time to see the mountain villages of Nepal and have cultural insight. Landing at Everest base camp or Kalapatthar is more about being close to Everest. The final landing at Hotel Everest view allows you to see many other nearby pics and the panorama while enjoying a delicious breakfast. 

Flyover EBC

Everest Helicopter flight
Everest Helicopter flight

Even if you cannot land at EBC during a Sharing trip, you can obviously fly over Everest. From the helicopter seat, you can see all those camps and people who are ready to set foot in the mountains.

Interesting flight route

Not just Everest but the entire flight route of this trip is quite interesting. As you leave Kathmandu, you fly over the thick tropical forest of Nepal towards the east. On the way, you can see many forests and rivers below your feet. Beyond Lukla, there is a rather deserted landscape. During the trip, you can see villages such as Namche, Dingboche, and Tengboche. The guide will also show you Namche Bazaar, museums, Tengboche Monastery and many other landscapes. 

Breakfast at 12,700 Feet

Having breakfast at such a beautiful place is always a blessing. And as you get to have breakfast at one of the world’s highest-altitude hotels, you will feel thrilled. 

Unique Aerial Perspectives

Even if you have been to the mountain treks before or hiked to the base camp, you should note that flying to the mountain is different. Aerial views of the snow-covered mountain during the Everest base camp helicopter tour with landing are totally different and exciting.

Comfort of the Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings

While trekking is also a very rejuvenating option, it might be a physically challenging adventure. Trekking for almost 12 days in a remote landscape with minimum facilities is not feasible for many people. Especially if you have been living a luxurious life for a long time, being in such a remote village might be a bit challenging. Also, there are chances of altitude sickness and injuries. You might suffer from cramps and physical pain. So, considering the comfort experienced during the trip, the Everest base camp helicopter with landing is worth it. 

Traditions

 Although you do not get to meet with a lot of local people and explore the local culture to its fullest, you can obviously see some monasteries and temples while you are on Tour. Another trekking route as Manaslu Circut trek is better for the cultural insight.

Family-Friendly Tour

If you want to travel with your family for a short vacation, maybe this is the only option for you to view Everest. Everest base camp helicopter with landing is a safe and comfortable option for family Tuesday, especially if you travel with small children or your parents. There is no age restriction for EBC to help tour with landing, and this has been designed for people with low physical fitness, mental stress, or disease. 

Time-Efficient Journey

Most travellers and trekkers to the Everest base camp trek spend about 15 days on the journey. However, with this helicopter, you get to complete the journey in just 4 to 5 hours. If you are staying in Nepal for a short time or going for other treks, this is a great option. If you are travelling for some kind of business/ seminar or just have some transit in Kathmandu before going to another South Asian region, then this might be a perfect break for you. 

Photography opportunity

If you are a YouTuber, social media influencer or just a photo enthusiast, the Everest base camp helicopter with landing is a great way to attract people. Obviously, the pictures of the mountains are delightful. And these pictures from above the cloud are even more spectacular list. The pilot can hover around the best photogenic sport around Everest so that you can capture the beautiful mountains below you. Also, with the Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings opportunity, you still have plenty of time to capture yourself in front of the Majestic Mountains. 

Affordability

The cost of an EBC helicopter tour by Himalayan Masters is actually lower in comparison to trekking to Everest base camp. While the helicopter to Everest costs only around $1200, other treks are quite expensive. Flights to and from Lukla are about $400, and trekking is also quite expensive. So, if you do not want to spend a lot of money on the trip and do not want to miss your job back home, then this EBC Help tour is great. 

New updates about Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings

EBC helicopter ban: Over the last few months of 2023, the Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings was closed by the National Aviation Council. This decision was made after a Manang Air flying towards Solukhumbhu from Lukla crashed in Lobuche. Captain Prakash Kumar Sedhai was the only person on board as the flight was made to pick up the passenger. Thankfully, he only sustained some injuries in the crash and was airlifted by a Fishtail Air helicopter.

EBC helicopter reopens: The Everest helicopter tour started again in January 2024. Necessary policy changes have been made, and strict rules have been implemented for airlines that fly to Lukla. 

Changes in Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings

Earlier, helicopters frequently landed at Everest base camp and Kalapatthar. This has dramatically disturbed travellers, especially mountain climbers who set their camps at Everest base camp for a long time. Also, Kalapatthar has a small space, and tourists were greatly disturbed by the helicopter noise. So, a new rule has been implemented to prohibit restricted helicopter landings at such essential places. This means that only private helicopters with less than two people can land at Everest base camp or Kala Patthar. Sharing helicopters can fly over this spot but cannot land here. 

History of Crash at Everest

Is Everest helicopter tour safe?
Is Everest helicopter tour safe?

Before we go further, note that as aviation’s very nature includes fatal risks, each airport has its own history of accidents. Nepal is a very venerable country of aerial accidents due to high hills and mountains blocking a lot of views. Lukla is regarded as among the most dangerous airports in the world, and it has encountered several accidents since its opening on October 15, 1964. The airport was built from the total effort of Sir Edmund Hillary, who purchased land from local people and used it to build the airport. 

Crash with no human Damage

  • The first accident occurred on October 15 1973, when a Royal Nepal Airline crashed beyond repair, but no one was injured.
  • On October 1 2004, Sita Air collapsed on the runway and blocked the airport for two days. 
  • October 12 2010- A minor break control failure by Sita Air led to the blocking of the path for some time.
  • August 11 2021- Another plane from Sita Air got punctured at Simkot Airport without any injuries. The only crew was the pilot transporting cargo. 
  • October 14 2023, Manang Air, flying towards Solukhumbhu from Lukla, crashed in Lobuche. Captain Prakash Kumar suffered a minor injury. 

Total incidents: 5

Crash with injuries to passenger 

  • June 9 1991 – Nepal Airlines crashed during landing. The 17 members of the plan were slightly hurt. Just a year later, another plane from Royal Air Nepal faltered during takeoff, and all 14 people onboard were injured (not fatal). 
  • On June 30 2005- Gorkha airlines slid while landing with 12 people with minor injuries. 
  • September 26 2013- The helicopter of Air Dynasty crashed without much harm to all three passengers and the captain 

Total incidents: 3

Fatal accidents around Everest

  • On May 25 2004, yeti Airlines flying towards Lukla crashed on a nearby Lamjura Hill, with all three crew members being killed. This accident was said to have occurred due to bad weather. 
  • Dark day- On October 8, 2008, the Yeti aeroplane crashed before landing, and the aeroplane caught fire. This incident killed a total of 18 people, with the aircraft’s captain being the only survivor. 
  • May 27 2017- Summit Air flight lost control and touched ground 10 feet below the runway level. The captain and first officer were killed, with another passenger was injured. 
  • On April 14 2019, the Summer Airlines plant departed the runway to hit the Manang Air that was parked in the helipad. The co-pilot of the plane, one officer on airport security duty, was dead, and another officer was severely injured.

Total incidents: 4

Verdict for Everest Base Camp Helicopter tour with landings

The Everest base camp helicopter tour is like adventure sports. And like all adventure sports, it has both expected thrill and risk. If being on Everest has always been a dream and you do not have enough time or strength for trekking, then obviously, the Everest base camp trek is worth it. With the landing opportunities, this might be a very rejuvenating experience in your life. However, it does come with some risks that you should acknowledge. Other than keeping yourself fully insured for emergency evacuation, you should also discuss it with your family members before you leave. However, if you do have around 15 days in Nepal, then trekking to Everest base camp is more convenient. The cultural insight while trekking is unmatched by the comfort of flying. Also, trekking is an environmentally responsible action. Even trekking comes with many risks, such as altitude sickness and injuries. So it’s up to you to decide. 

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Himalayan Masters has been established by travel and trekking experts with several years of experience. Our consultants have travelled extensively and have in-depth knowledge of the region you will be traveling in.

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