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Nepal marks 80th anniversary of first flight over Mt. Everest


19:14, April 03, 2013

KATHMANDU, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Nepal is marking 80th anniversary of two Scots airmen flying over the Mount Everest on two Westland Wallace biplanes for the first time in human history.

For a group of people who went on a sightseeing trip to commemorate the first flight over the highest mountain on Earth, here on Wednesday, it was fun and excitement, thanks to the progress the aviation industry has made. It was an adventure filled with danger for the two airmen 80 years ago.

Kunda Dixit, a noted journalist and the publisher of Himal Media, an influential media house of Nepal, told Xinhua in a sightseeing aircraft, "This is a brilliant flight commemorating the 80th anniversary of first flight over the Mt. Everest. It is amazing to see how much aviation technology has progressed since then."

The one-hour flight took the group of people close to peaks such as Gauri Shankar, Nuptuse, Lhotse, Amadablam, Makalu and Mt. Everest. Sightseeing flights to Himalayan Mountains are one of the major attractions that Nepal's tourism industry has to offer to wealthy foreign tourists.

"This is a very special day to commemorate the first flight to the Everest 80 years ago today. At 10:05 a.m. my grandfather was one of the two pilots to fly over the summit of the Mt. Everest," said Charles Douglas-Hamilton, grandson of Lord Clydesdale, one of the pioneering pilots.

The flights, which made international headlines at the time, broke new records at sustained flight at 33,000 feet, stated a press statement issued by BAE systems. BAE systems Regional Aircraft is the direct descendant of Scottish Aviation, a company founded by the two pioneers Lord Clydesdale and David Mclntyre.

Yeti Airlines, which organized the commemorative flight has a fleet of seven Jetstream 41 aircraft manufactured by BAE Systems and runs commercial flights for sightseeing of the highest mountain.

Umesh Chandra Rai the General Manager of Yeti Airlines, explaining the reason behind commemorating the first flight, said, "since common thread runs through the company founded by the pioneers and the Yeti Airlines we decided to commemorate the 80th anniversary over the Everest by conducting this flight."

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