mountain flying - What is typical cruise altitude in the Himalayas?

An important tourist connection goes from Tribhuvan International Airport (VNKT) in Kathmandu, at 4,390 ft, to Tenzing-Hillary Airport (VNLK) in Lukla, at 9,334 ft. The mountains around Lukla quickly raise from south to north. Right around Lukla the ridges rise to about 15,000 ft, but the aircraft does not have to fly over these, since decent approach is only possible through the valley from the south and the ridges are somewhat lower further south. So does anybody know what is actual typical cruise altitude in that area?...Read more

mountain flying - Does maximum altitude increase when pilot is acclimatised?

Normally 10,000 ft is considered safe altitude for emergency descents and 12,000 ft a maximum that can be flown in unpressurised aircraft without using supplementary oxygen.But when flying in the mountains with a crew that normally lives at say 5,000 ft or more, can they afford higher altitude? And by how much?Note: The 12,000 ft I've seen somewhere, but I don't know whether it is actually a regulation or just recommendation....Read more