Virus SW over the top of the world - Matevž Lenarčič flew over Mt. Everest!

We are proud to report that the flight of Matevž Lenarčič over the world's tallest mountain, Mt. Everest, was successful!

The mission was accomplished on the Nepal side of Mt. Everest at the height of 29400 feet (8.944 meters).
The weather was very beautiful, the temperature was relatively high, "only" -27°C, north westerly wind of 40 kts and from time to time some turbulence.
The Pipistrel Virus performed perfectly, and the MH oxygen mask did too.

mount everest 29344 ft

More information will be available in the following days.

We would like to thank the Avia Club Nepal for their support and hospitality. Without them this achievement would not be possible.
Congratulations to Matevž & everyone in his team for this amazing success!

Pipistrel Team

Detailed press release:

Friday, 30 March 2012
The Slovene pilot Matevž Lenarčič, who is flying around the world in his modified Virus SW 914 Turbo with an Intercooler unit, made a successful flight over the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest.
Yesterday (29 March) at 1:15 Central European time, Matevž flew by the Nepal side of the Mt. Everest summit at the height of 29,344 feet (8,944 meters). This means he flew even higher than the top of the mountain, which is 8848 m.

»The weather was very beautiful, the temperature was relatively high, "only" -27°C, north westerly wind of 40 kts and from time to time some turbulence. The Pipistrel Virus performed perfectly,« Matevž wrote on his website

This historic moment means the first-ever flight of a Slovene aircraft over the world’s tallest mountain.

»We have a proof that Matevž flew this high,« said Ivo Boscarol, the general manager of the company Pipistrel that manufactured the modified Virus aircraft. »It is data released from an automated tracking device which tells the location, altitude and direction of flight. After landing in Jaipur, Matevž told me by telephone that the aircraft performed really well and would be able to climb even higher if he wanted or needed. This proved that our forecast, that the modified aircraft would be capable of reaching 10,000m was correct.«

To be able to accomplish this feat, Matevž needed a specially modified aircraft able to withstand the temperatures reaching -30°C. He had to brave similar temperatures once before when he landed his aircraft in the Antarctic.

There were a lot of trouble getting the permits to fly over the Everest (the Nepali permit got cancelled right before the flight), but Matevž did it anyway, so the news were only released a day later to prevent him from having any trouble with Nepal authorities. Matevž is now already safely in India. The local Avia Club Nepal was of immense help with all the organisation issues and the logistics, so we would like to thank them in the name of the entire Pipistrel team. They finally managed to convince the authorities to give Matevž the permission to fly above the Annapurna. Without their help this achievement would not be possible.
In the days prior to the great success, Matevž did some test flights above the Himalaya to test the special oxygen mask. Then he flew on to accomplish probably the most difficult goal on his 80.000 km-long flight around the world which took him over all 7 continents, 120 national parks and 3 oceans.

His return is expected sometime in late April.
The entire Pipistrel team congratulates Matevž and his ground support team for this amazing achievement.

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