Highest Skydive Landing - Jai Kishan, Wendy
Smith and Tom Noonan sets world record
KalaPather Plateu, KATHMANDU, Nepal -- Wing Commander
Jai Kishan, a 37-year-old parachute jump instructor
from the Indian Air Force, along with Wendy Smith (New
Zealand) and Tom Noonan (USA), jumped from an altitude
of 21,000 feet and landed at Kalapather Plateu at 17192 feet
(5242 metrer) above
sea level right beside Mt. Qomolangma (also known as Mt. Everest)-
setting the new world record for the Highest
Photo: Jai KIshan Landing at Kala Patthar
/ Photos by Gorakh Bista
"It was the fulfilment of a long dream,"
said Kishan, who dived with the photographs of his dead parents
in his pocket in remembrance of their constant encouragement.
After exit from the helicopter, Jai
had a free fall of 8 seconds and after successfully deploying
his parachute he displayed the Indian tri color in the air
for approximately 4 minutes.
was flying my canopy with the Indian flag just beside the
Everest and I could see the whole view the climbing route
of Everest. It is a view I will always remember ”, Jai added.
Photo: Jai Kishan over Pumori / Photo
by Gorakh Bista (enlarge
The IAF officer took loans and pledged his
provident fund to raise money for the adventure, which cost
between 10,000-15,000 pounds.
His partners in the stunt were New Zealander
Wendy Smith, the world skydiving champion with over
18,000 dives under her belt, and American Tom Noonan,
a freelance skydiving instructor.
It was a personal quest and Kishan said
he was indebted to his officers from the IAF for granting
him leave. The Parachute Federation of India gave him his
parachute and the Aeroclub of India the altimeter used by
skydivers to calculate when they should end their freefall
and open the parachute.
It took him a month's preparation and planning
for three years to achieve the deed. The three divers had
planned to choose a higher
altitude but settled for 21,000 ft due to inclement weather.
The dive was fraught with dangers since
the divers fell through jagged peaks where strong gusts of
wind could dash them to death. They had to also fly over open
crevasses and a fall into them also meant death.
"I can't say I was not scared," Kishan said.
"People who say they are not, are lying."
The IAF officer advised another successful diver
from Nepal, Ganesh Pandey, not to think of anything when he
jumped off the aircraft. "Just say Jai Pashupatinath and jump,"
This new world record for the Highest
Skydive Landing eclipses the world
record set last month by three daredevils - Britons Leo
Dickinson and Ralph Mitchell and Wing Commander Tripathi,
who jumped from 20,000 ft to land at the same altitude. (see
Kishan said: "Indians have the passion for
sports and the courage to push themselves beyond their limits,"
he told IANS. "In the past, we lacked exposure
but now, we have awareness as well. I saw lots of Indians
at the Everest base camp."
The adventure seekers Wendy Smith of
New Zealand, tandem master Tom Noonan of the United States
and Jai Kishan of India were members of the Everest
Skydive 2009, an event organised by Explore Himalaya
Travel & Adventure.
As a continuation of the Everest Skydive
2008, the Everest Skydive 2009 was organised to promote Nepal
Tourism Year 2011.