Brian C Friesner
28th Feb 2005
Question: One of the entries stated that a helicopter can't hover over Mt. Everest. Why not?
Answer: Helicopter performance is dependent on a number of factors, including air density. As altitude increases, air density decreases and the performance of the helicopter falls as well. At the height of Mt Everest, the air density has fallen to a sufficient degree that most helicopters would be unable to function (few helicopters are capable of functioning above 20,000 feet, nine thousand feet lower than the summit of Everest).