World’s highest everything

May 10, 2021 • 2:15 pm

Okay, so I can’t vouch for the truth of everything shown here, but some of the feats are pretty remarkable.

First, the highest freefall—the first video shown:

In 2014, Alan Eustace set the current world record highest and longest-distance free fall jump when he jumped from 135,908 feet (41.425 km) and remained in free fall for 123,334 feet (37.592 km).However, Joseph Kittinger still holds the record for longest-duration free fall, at 4 minutes and 36 seconds, which he accomplished during his 1960 jump from 102,800 feet (31.3 km).

That “world’s highest ski jump” is 255 feet. The guy didn’t land on his skis, of course, but plummeted into a snowbank.

The world’s highest airport isn’t really the world’s highest in altitude, but it is the world’s scariest, landing on a cliffside in Lukla, Nepal. I’ve flown into it twice. Believe me, it’s something for the bucket list.

As for that giant wave, it’s 78 feet high as certified by Guinness, and was off Nazaré, Portugal.

21 thoughts on “World’s highest everything

  1. Landing at that airport would do it for me. Some don’t realize at that altitude how fast you must go to avoid stalling. The take off would be equally exciting as you would think you are never going to get off the ground or the wheels are coming off you are going so fast.

    1. I noticed at that highest altitude airport they have a runway 5500 meters. That is crazy long. 5000m is 16,400 feet long. A long runway at big airports in the states would be maybe 11,000 feet

      1. Where do you come by your misinformation? According to the always-reliable internets, i.e. wikipedia, the Lukia “airport” has a runway length of 1729′. That’s somewhat less than the 16,400′ you claim.

        That length would be marginal enough for anything heftier than a Fieseler Storch, given the altitude is 9337′. That altitude could require a takeoff run some 2.5 times longer than the sea-level value.

        1. If you would bother to click on the post – isn’t really the worlds highest airports it gives a list of the 10 highest airports and all the information about them. It’s not misinformation if you know how to click.

    1. Certainly not by the definition, but as IIRC Baumgartner suffered a lot of spin in his jump and the air wasn’t thick enough to drag him into a stable attitude, it was an obvious necessity.

  2. Not high, but exciting, and just a standard (expensive!) flight, fly from Reykjavik (municipal airport—domestic, Greenland and Faroes—not the international Keflavik) to the Faroes. Landing, it almost feels like the wingtips are scraping the sides of the mountains on both sides—and it’s windy almost always I think—really good pilots.

    The ski jump’s got nothing much to do with skis, if the person can’t land and continue on his or her skis—might as well just walk over to the edge and jump. At least it’d be easier to scramble out of the hole you made in the snow without having the damn skis stuck to your feet!

    There is a sort of regular event, using a bigger hill than the normal (e.g. Olympic) 70 and 90 metre hills, called ski flying, but again a constructed jump, nowhere near as high as that mountain video. It’s pretty dangerous I guess anyway—when our Norwegian friends took us to an event about 5 years ago, we stood watching the forerunners do it for over an hour, then they cancelled the competition due to dangerous winds, though most days would have that much wind in gusts. I think they usually hope for a lull to send off each competitor.

    At the time there was supposedly only one other such venue in the world.

    The big Oslo race (Hollmenkollen), in the beginning at least 135 years ago, used to start with a big jump, as part of the nordic (50km?) race, no groomed track. The famous explorer, scientist, politician Nansen did it a few times back around 1885. He used to come back every year to his Oslo home, as a young man working in biology/geophysics at Bergen, by skiing for a week in the wilderness mountains/Hardanger Plateau, etc.; then do the reverse a few weeks later.

    Not a bunch of chicken-shits like we are these days. Good practice though for him and Johannsen, a few years later, to get back alive from near the North Pole, gaining weight in the process, eating something > 10 polar bears in the process.

    I suppose the cancellers should get busy on that one! Better would be to drop them off up there with a pair of skis, a kayak, a tent, a few good dogs and sled, and a sarcastic ‘good luck’.

    Wandering off topic again!

    1. Reykjavik to the Faroes. Landing, it almost feels like the wingtips are scraping the sides of the mountains on both sides—and it’s windy almost always I think—really good pilots.

      Several of the scariest landings I’ve had were at the next airport to the SE – Scatsca in the Shetlands (OK, Baltasound might be a touch closer, but we haven’t used it for years and it has faded into the warm fuzzy distance). Landing on the 4th attempt is always good for getting you in the mood for the helicopter. By then, you really don’t want to go back to the fleshpots.

      1. Typo I assume – Scatsta. Small world! I represented the local authority at the Civil Aviation Authority hearing which led to the decision to open Scatsta ( which had been a WWII aerodrome ) for flights in connection with the needs of the North Sea Oil Industry. Mostly Dan Air flights to begin with. Subsequently, it was used occasionally as a diversion airport when Sumburgh was fog bound. I feel fortunate to say I never had that experience however. I did fly once to Foula an island some 20 or so miles off the Shetland mainland. Now that is really scary, particularly the take off from Foula which involves more or less dropping off a cliff at the end of the runway!! At that time, late 70s, early 80s, there was a direct service between Tingwall near Lerwick to Edinburgh operated by a Twin Otter, a most unpleasantly lengthy trip in such a small plane. I had to use it rather than the regular Sumburgh – Aberdeen – Edinburgh service a couple of times. Ah, these flying days in the windiest place in Britain.

        1. Interesting times indeed. Not necessarily “fun”. I used to approach Scatsta by helicopter by counting tombolos and other coastal geomorphology – keep the mind busy.
          I remember a few occasions when we disembarked the helicopter after the deck crew had tied a hefty rope (wide enough to get a good grip on, far stronger than strictly necessary) to the hand grip, to assist us (and the deck crew, struggling with the freight and second-bags) to get off the helideck without being blown away. Both pilots in the seat, flying a hard dive to keep the wheels down in the deck netting.
          They stopped that after the … I think it was the Cormorant crash (about 1992, about 14 dead and four or five children arrested in the night). Re-introduced it briefly in the late 90s when the introduction of “scoops” welded to the bows of standby trawlers brought the prospect of scooping people from a “helicopter blown off deck” crash directly out of the sea. Re-banned it when sea trials of the “scoop” repeatedly broke the (literal) crash test dummies backs.
          They’ll being it back again, when they think up a new excuse. Dead people cost less than disrupted flight schedules, but families can’t always be sued into submission (if they’ve got the services of good lawyers).

    2. Don’t they call that ski flying and the jump is something like 125M. Years ago they use to put it on television. I recall one of the announcers said fat don’t fly when referring to the very thin skiers.

  3. I would think the worlds highest rope swing might also count for the worlds tightest pucker.
    It would be if I was doing it.

  4. World’s Highest was a great bit – oddly satisfying.
    I’ve been to the Burj Al Khalifa in Dubai – great view.
    As for the rest —- nice to watch but wouldn’t want to do them.
    D.A.
    NYC

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