I saw this youtube video today: Flying over Mt Everest. A lovely view of stunning nature - quite spectacular. However, I looked up the plane - or at least what I think is the plane - and found that it might be a propeller plane: 9N-AHV (I saw this registration number in the video).
The plane appears to be a BAe Jetstream 41 - check that link for details - it is Wikipedia.
Of particular interest (maybe):
- Service ceiling: 26,000 ft (7,900 m)
- Service ceiling on one engine: 15,000 ft (4,572 m)
Tibetan Plateau: "...average elevation exceeding 4,500 metres (14,800 ft)".
So it sounds like an engine failure for this plane type means that it can not descend to the acceptable service ceiling? The service ceiling is the maximum usable altitude of an aircraft.
This seems unsafe?
I am not a pilot, but I hear it is rare to fly over Himalaya / Mount Everest / Tibet because planes can't go low enough for passengers to breathe without oxygen if there is an emergency? If they lose an engine they have to descend I read. There is also a lot of turbulence. Why Planes Don't Fly Over Himalayas.
Airports: Lhasa and Kathmandu - short runways - not many places for emergency landings due to medical emergencies and such. And they wrote "the place is desolate with little people around". That sounds a bit funny seeing as the area is situated between China and India :-). Remote it is though. And China has 94% of its population in the eastern part of the country (towards the sea).