Monday, January 05, 2015

Video of the Day

What happens when an aircraft warning light does out on a broadcasting tower?  FAA and FCC regulations mandate that it must be replaced as soon as possible.

KDLT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, recently lost the warning light at the very top of its tower, which stands 1500' above the surrounding terrain.  The replacement job fell to a climber named Kevin Schmidt.

This video, shot by a drone from Prairie Aerial Photography, records his climb to the top.  Kudos to Mr. Schmidt, and to Joseph and Todd Thoren of Prairie Aerial, who put the video together.

H/T: Ric Peterson at All Things Aero.     

2 comments:

Vigilis said...

My hat is off to Mr. Schmidt!
Any idea how long it took him to climb such a vertical height?

Jitters!

Nate Hale said...

No idea...years ago, before I had to good sense to join the military, I worked in broadcasting. The tallest tower at the stations where I worked was under 500', as I recall.

A couple of interesting points: watch the video at about the 1:32 mark, as the drone camera looks down on the climber; you'll see the tower swaying slightly. As with other tall structures, broadcasting towers are built to sway with the breeze. Looks like a fairly calm day when Schmidt climbed the tower in South Dakota; now, imagine that same climb on a windy day, or in the middle of winter.

Tower climbers also perform other tasks, such as installing new antennas and painting the tower. I've watched the painting crews in action. For obvious reasons, they don't use a paint brush. They have the paint bucket tethered to their body and dip a paint mitt into the can, then "rub" it onto the metal.

Not a job for the faint-of-heart (or the acrophobic).