This is our Russain helicopter taking off from Lukla Airport. We watched the action for 3 hours, then got on this helicopter about noon when it returned for its second load for its 1-hour trip back to Kathmandu. We flew at 4000m, which the pilot said was the ceiling for this large transport helicopter.

The runway heads downhill then ends at a steep drop. The takeoff is not nearly as exciting in a helicopter as in a small plane, when a few prayers are in order. November 8, 1997.