Helicopter Ride

Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

Everest Base Camp (EBC) is among the most popular tourist destinations across the world. Some may have no time to complete the whole trek. Sometimes, a fitness level may be a reason not to trek to EBC.

If so, there’s good news for you!

If you have any of these problems or aren’t into trekking, Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is for you. It’s considered one of the most scenic and satisfying aerial flights waiting for you.

And why not?

The aerial tour to the fantastic Everest Base Camp lets you fly over the Himalayas. Getting so close to the mountains with ease and comfort is the best experience ever. This journey is just for a few hours, and you will complete the whole trip within a day.

Major Highlights of Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

Thrilling Helicopter Flight to Lukla

Heli Tour

You take off from Kathmandu on an adventurous ride to Lukla Airport. It is a delightful 30-40 minutes flight, watching majestic mountain views.

Namche Bazaar

Everest Base Camp – Kalapather Trek

Namche Bazar, a beautiful village in the heart of the Himalayas, is a significant highlight of the classic Everest Base Camp Trek. You will come to overlook bird-eye views of this marvelous town as you fly over it.

Tengboche Monastery

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Tengboche village is home to Tengboche Monastery, the largest monastery in the Khumbu region. Also, the village itself is widely renowned as the oldest Sherpa village in the area.

As your chopper takes you towards the base camp, you will see a magnificent scene of the monastery and the village.

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Land at Kala Patthar

Kala Patthar

Kala Patthar is the highest place of the classic EBC trek. People trek 1-2 weeks to reach this place, but you get there in a few hours. This famous viewpoint is located at an altitude of 5,643 meters from the sea level.

As the tour starts early, you come to watch the magnificent views after the sunrise.

Other Highlights of Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

  1. Short tour; perfect for people with limited time
  2. A luxurious way to reach EBC within the comfort of a helicopter
  3. Panoramic vistas of the Everest region and the Himalayas
  4. Up-close views of Everest, Lhotse, and other mountains
  5. Besides, get majestic views of the vast Himalayan terrains, high passes, and glaciers

Weather for Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

The Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is possible throughout the year. As it only takes about 4-5 hours to complete the whole mission, it’s doable during all the seasons.

The aerial tours depend upon climatic conditions. If the weather seems to be troublesome, the chopper tour gets postponed for the next day.

Best Season

Kala Patthar

Autumn: September-November

Spring: March-May

Autumn is the best season for the chopper tour. The weather remains pleasant, and the sky stays clear. You get crisp, panoramic views of the Everest region with peaks like Everest and Nuptse.

Landing at the base camp becomes more comfortable as the snow melts in Autumn. There are fewer chances of unpredictable weather changes. So, helicopter flights get rarely canceled.

Spring offers the most colorful vibes of the Everest region. You see lush green meadows and sparkling Himalayan views. Rhododendron forests blossom everywhere, adding to the majestic beauty of the area.

Also, the weather in the Himalayan region remains calm in Spring. The mild temperature, high visibility, and cool climate make it the perfect time for this tour.

Off-season

Kala Patthar

Winter: December-February

Monsoon: June-September 

The Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is still possible in the Winter. But sometimes, the weather changes unpredictably. Snowfall may cover the helipads, causing difficulties to land on.

However, as the weather stays stable, the chopper can bring you comfortably to Kala Patthar. Also, the sky remains clear in winters as well. So, if you get on the helicopter tour in winter, you will catch the splendid views.

Monsoon may not be a big season for this tour. The weather forecastings here are never 100% accurate. So, the rainfall can cause problems. Also, clouds cover the views of the mountains.

You can still make it possible even in monsoon by contacting the local authorities and examining the weather before your tour.

Outline Itinerary for the Everest Base Camp Chopper Tour

helicopter

5:30 Drive from the hotel to the Tribhuvan International Airport

6:30 Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla

7:15 Refueling the Helicopter at Lukla

7:30 Flight to Kala Patthar or Everest Base Camp

11:00 Flight back to Kathmandu via Lukla

12:00 Land in Kathmandu and return to the hotel

Detailed Itinerary for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

At 5:30

The helicopter tour begins early in the morning. You take a ride to Tribhuvan International Airport for the flight.

At 6:30

Once you reach the airport, you go through the regular airport processes. After all that, you head towards the helicopter. Your helicopter takes off at 6:30. After about 45 minutes of the thrilling flight, you reach Lukla.

The ride will be quite an experience. The airport at Lukla, Tenzing Hillary Airport, is one of the most dangerous airports in the world. This flight is like a jumpstart to your EBC helicopter tour.

At 7:15

The helicopter needs to get refueled before heading to Everest Base Camp. So, it is refueled at the airport in Lukla.

At 7:30

The flight towards the Everest Base Camp starts at 7:30.

This scenic flight is the major highlight of the trip. It’s a beautiful experience. You will fly over the Himalayan terrains and get 360° views of the Khumbu region.

The chopper gets landed at Kala Patthar. From here, you will observe the best Himalayan vistas of the Everest Region.

You can enjoy the view or take unique pictures; it’s all up to you. You stay here for about 10 minutes.

You may ask, “Why only 10 minutes?”

The helicopter takes you to a high altitude in a few hours, so your body is quite vulnerable to get altitude sickness. So, to prevent such problems, you have only 10 minutes. But this time is more than enough. You can take plenty of pictures, enjoy the view and even get a few minutes to spare.

After that, the helicopter takes you to the famous Everest View Hotel. Here, you will have a delicious meal with scenic Himalayan views.

At 11:00

After you tasted the delicious food, it’s time to head back towards Kathmandu. You will take the chopper that takes you back to Kathmandu via Lukla.

At 12:00

The helicopter ride back to Kathmandu will also be vehemently thrilling. After an hour or so, you land in Kathmandu. From here, you will ride back to your hotel.

The overall mission completes within a day. You will enjoy some of the best views and experience the Himalayas exclusively.

What to wear?

what to wear

You don’t need to prepare the complete packing list for this helicopter tour. What you need to do is to wear appropriate clothing. It is too cold in the base camp, so you need to wear warm clothes.

For this chopper tour, you’ll need to wear:

  • Water-proof jackets and trousers for the outer layer.
  • Warm woolen shirts and t-shirts for layering
  • Thermal inner clothes
  • Regular boots with warm woolen socks
  • 100% UV ray protection sun-glasses
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Sunhat, cap or beanie
  • Waterproof outer gloves with thin inner gloves

Also, don’t forget to carry a camera. You need to capture those mesmerizing moments at the Everest Base Camp, don’t you?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why land at Kala Patthar than at EBC?

It is one of the most frequent questions regarding the tour. The helicopter can land in Everest Base Camp as well, but there is a small drawback to that. You don’t get a chance to see the views of Everest Summit!

Landing at Everest Base Camp is not always possible. The weather also affects the landing process.

If you land at Kala Patthar, you not only get the pristine views of Everest but also the whole Everest region!

2. Is Altitude Sickness a problem?

Any altitude above 3,000 meters can cause altitude sickness. But, altitude sickness is not a thing to worry about in the Helicopter tour. The pressure is adequately maintained inside the helicopter so that the flight will be very comforting.

And, keeping altitude sickness in mind?, you get only about 10-15 minutes to spend at Kala Patthar. The time is more than enough to enjoy the scenic beauty or to take plenty of pictures.

Then, you’re taken back to lower altitudes, avoiding any chances of altitude problems.

3. Are pilots experienced?

Yes, the pilots have years of experience of flying through the mountainous regions. Most of these pilots work with foreigners, and you’ll feel comfortable with them. They’ve got a lot of information about these areas.

Their experience and expertise make them some of the best pilots in Nepal. So, you don’t need anything else to worry about.

5. Is this tour suitable for solo travelers?

Yes, absolutely!

Many solo travelers wish to embark on this journey. All you need to do is to determine which season you want to give this adventure a try. And, after preparing all the necessary papers and documents, you’re ready!

You can either choose to join a group or share the memories or go on a private helicopter adventure.

6. Do we land at Everest Base Camp?

The helicopter can easily land in Everest Base Camp. But, it’s possible only if the weather allows us to do so.

Weather at the Base Camp may not always be favorable. Bad weather can cause difficulties.

Also, you don’t get the best views from the base camp.

If you want and if the weather allows, the helicopter can land at Everest Base Camp.

7. What happens if the flight canceled?

All the helicopter tours are properly scheduled by checking the weather forecast. As such tours take only a few hours, you can complete this tour in any season. Also, the organizing agencies talk to locals to make sure the weather is appropriate enough for flights.

The weather will be quite unpredictable in such high altitudes. Flight delays or cancellations can occur in such cases. If this happens to you, your flight gets scheduled for the next day.

If you don’t have enough time for postponing the flight, you will get a refund. Companies refund you as per their policy.

8. How many people can get on the helicopter at once?

It depends upon the type of helicopter. There are two choppers in use currently for the helicopter tour.

The first one, AS 350 B3 E Airbus, can carry SIX people in lowland while FIVE people in a highland, excluding the pilot.

The second one, Jet Ranger 206B III-9N-ALL, can carry FIVE people into lowland while THREE people into highland, excluding the pilot.

9. What models of helicopters are in use?

Helicopter Model: AS 350 B3 E Airbus

  • Manufacturer: Eurocopter, France
  • Seat Capacity: 6 people on Low Land

5 people on Highland (Excluding Pilot)

  • Weight Capacity: 2,250 kg
  • Internal Weight: 900 kg
  • Empty Weight: 1,285 kg
  • Operating Elevation: 23,000 FT
  • Engine Type: Ariel 2D

Model: BELL- Jet Ranger 206B III-9N-ALL

  • Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter, USA
  • Seat Capacity: 5 people on Low Land

3 people on Highland (Excluding Pilot)

  • Weight Capacity: 1,451 kg
  • Empty weight: 730 kg
  • Operating Elevation: 23,000 FT
  • Engine Type: 206B-3

Tips for the Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour

  • Don’t ignore your clothing items. Although you spend only a few hours in the base camp area, proper apparel is very necessary.
  • Don’t litter around the base camp area.
  • Make sure you always follow your pilot’s commands and advice.
  • Things like suddenly standing on your helicopter, making jerking motions and other such stuff is very risky. Stay calm and behave well while on the helicopter.
  • The window of your helicopter can open. But take permission from your pilot before opening it.
  • Also, pulling your hand or head out from the window, or even throwing stuff is completely inappropriate.

Conclusion

The majestic Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is gaining a lot of popularity due to its comfort, ease, and short duration. From children to old, this ideal tour is for everyone. It’s considered as one of the safest and the fastest way to reach Mount Everest Base Camp.

As this trek doesn’t require high physical fitness nor has age limits, it is one of the best ways to explore the Everest region.

So, when do you plan on giving this tour a try?

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