Andy Elson - adventure engineering

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The first Balloon Flight Over Everest 1991

Sponsored by Star Micronics


Over Everest


In 1991, Andy Elson piloted one of two Star Micronics sponsored balloons to make a pioneering flight over mount Everest. In addition to piloting the balloon Andy developed the specialised burners required to allow the balloons to fly in the extreme conditions encountered at 40 000 ft and designed and built the oxygen breathing systems used by the balloon pilots and the cameramen.

On October 21st the two balloons took-off from Gokyo lakes in Nepal. After an eventful flight Andy, with co-pilot and cameraman Eric Jones, made a textbook landing on the Tibetan plateau at an altitude of 16,800 ft. The second balloon, piloted by Chris Dewhurst accompanied by adventure cameraman Leo Dickinson, landed at an altitude of 16,200 ft, 30 miles away.

The full story of the flight can be read in Leo Dickinson’s book “Ballooning Over Everest?


Take-off at Gokyo Lakes


Note the balloon in the upper left corner.