Top-Landing Mt Blanc
24 Aug 2011
For the third time in history, pilots have overflown and landed on Mt Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe. This was achieved for the first time in August of 2003, and then again in August of 2009, and most recently August 21, 2011. Damien de Baenst, an R11 pilot, reports: "I started my flight in Campex (CH) and first flew over the complete east side of the Mont Blanc massif before reaching the summit and then landing on it. About 20 wings flew over the summit but only five pilots landed. It was a little scary as about 35 km/h of Southwest wind was blowing at the summit. Thanks to the altitude and the low density, it was manageable. I stayed 30' on the summit for an overall of 1h30 over 4800m. Maximum altitude of the flight was 5012 m. The 5 pilots having landed on the top are Clément Latour, Eric Roussel, Damien de Baenst, Jordan Revel and Franck Van de Mael". Damien's photos are at right, and his album can be seen here. We recommend checking out all of his photos as they provide a nice virtual tour of the Mt Blanc massif. In 2009 Olivier Laugero was the first person to land a tandem on the summit, and he did it with an Ozone Magnum. He was one of the pilots who overflew the summit this year, but he did not land this time due to the conditions. It has been a very hot week here in the Alps, with high freezing levels and until recently relatively light winds. We hope that the summer finishes with plenty more excellent XC days for you, wherever you are on earth. Cheers from all the Team.