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JSfirm Member Press: Hillsboro Aviation Graduate, Daniel Aufdenblatten, Performs Highest-Altitude Long Line Rescue

The highest-altitude long line rescue in history was recently performed in Nepal by a cooperative effort between Switzerland’s Air Zermatt and Fishtail Air, a charter helicopter company based in Nepal. Air Zermatt’s Captain Daniel Aufdenblatten, who piloted the helicopter and performed the rescue, is a Hillsboro Aviation graduate. The April 29 rescue operation took place on the north face of Nepal’s Mount Annapurna, the world’s tenth highest mountain. Three climbers from a Spanish expedition where rescued from camp four located at an elevation of 22,900 feet. Landing in the terrain was not possible so Captain Aufdenblatten, along with Swiss Mountain Guide Richard Lehner, used the long line to lift the stranded climbers. They were evacuated one-by-one to base camp after enduring 36 hours on Mount Annapurna. Aufdenblatten, a Swiss citizen, began his flight training at Hillsboro Aviation in November 2003. After graduating from the Helicopter Professional Pilot Program, he worked for Hillsboro Aviation as a flight instructor. In 2006, he became a pilot for Air Zermatt. “The training I received at Hillsboro Aviation provided me with a strong foundation that I have used throughout my career and prepared me for operations such as this rescue," Aufdenblatten said. About Hillsboro Aviation Headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon, Hillsboro Aviation has been in business since 1980. The company’s diverse operations include airplane and helicopter flight training, airplane and helicopter charter, aircraft sales, maintenance and avionics services. Its aircraft fleet includes more than 70 aircraft ranging from single and multi-engine airplanes to Robinson R-22s to 12 turbine-powered Bell helicopters. Hillsboro Aviation is the Northwest’s largest combined helicopter and airplane flight training school. It is also the U.S. Independent Representative for Bell Helicopter, the northwestern U.S. dealer for Cessna single-engine piston aircraft and a dealer for the Robinson Helicopter Company.

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