KWS retrieves body of Chinese climber in historic mission

Thursday September 28 2017

Tropic Air pilot Ben Simpson prepares to take

Tropic Air pilot Ben Simpson prepares to take off from Nanyuki airstrip on September 28, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP Pilot Ben Simpson

By NICHOLAS KOMU
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The body of a Chinese climber who died while hiking Mount Kenya has been retrieved.

In a daring mission, the Kenya Wildlife Service rescue team in collaboration with Tropic Air airlifted the body that was lying 5,000 metres above sea level on Wednesday morning.

Fang Wenchao, 33, died as he descended from Batian, the mountain's highest peak, on Sunday.

The delicate piloting mission was undertaken by seasoned Tropic Air pilot Ben Simpson. 

This was the first time an attempt has been to airlift a body 5,000 metres above sea level in the country. 

KWS

KWS officers carry the body of the Chinese tourist who died at Batian peak in Mt Kenya it was airlifted down on September 28, 2017. PHOTO |JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Before take off, Mr Simpson told Nation.co.ke that it would be impossible to land on the mountain and the body would have to be hooked onto the helicopter mid-air.