Thursday, July 07, 2005

Radio Bites Man

Much more rare than even a case of man bites dog...














Radio towers are often massively tall structures looming harmlessly high above us. Typically they are fenced off, guy wired or otherwise far from where they can pose a danger. But sometimes things can go awry. Being a large mass of metal, radio tower make a bit of a mess when they come down unexpectedly. In the cases where they are in an urban or suburban locale
...they land on other things.

I don't want you to get the idea that this happens all the time. It usually takes something big, like a plane or a tornado to knock one over. Below is a sampling of some of the more significant falls. feel free to volunteer others I am forgetting.

KFI-AM, December 2004.The single-engine Cessna 182 struck the KFI Radio tower about 9:45 a.m. and the tower tumbled to the ground. KFI is off air for a couple hours.

WOBO-FM, August 2002 - Strong winds snapped off the upper two-thirds of a 300-foot radio tower here Sunday afternoon, sending it smashing through the roof of a youth mental health center. No one was in the Wasserman Youth & Adolescent Center at that time, and there were no injuries. The tower damaged one classroom.

WOR-AM, August 1956. After clipping the radio tower and shearing off a wing the plane hit the roof of the an apartment building, destroying the top 2 floors. The pilot and passenger Russell S. Williams (a millionaire oil company executive) were killed.

KOTC-AM, June 2005 The pilot of a crop-dusting plane was killed about 7:45 p.m. Saturday when the plane struck a radio tower near Senath in Dunklin County in the Missouri Bootheel, authorities said. The plane clipped a wire supporting the tower. The tower fall hitting a barn.

WGMX & WYNZ December 2003 A tower formerly visible in Portland along I-295. It collapsed at about 1:30 in the afternoon after a guy wire snapped. It hit no buildings but did hit multiple parked cars. Explain that to your insurance company.

More pictures of squished things here:
http://www.unc.edu/~morris/tower/