[AMRadio] Re: KFI Tower Falls...again!

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Thu Mar 20 11:34:54 EST 2008

They certainly are having a streak of bad luck with that tower.

I'd be curious what exactly happened, if they make the information public.

Back in the mid 50's, the new tower under construction at WSM-TV fell.  A 
section of tower was dropped and struck a guy wire and severed it.  Several 
workmen were killed.

The same  thing almost happened to my tower while I was putting it up.  I 
had it up to the 100' level, and had hoisted the next section up while 
standing on the ground and tied off the gin pole rope to a leg of the tower. 
I decided to take a  short break and just happened to look back at the tower 
in time to see the section falling.  I was afraid it was going to cause the 
whole thing to come down, but it hit a guy wire at the bottom set and 
bounced off.  The whole structure violently shook, but everything held 
together.  The only damage was a chipped guy insulator, and the tower 
section was ruined - one leg was bent about 15 degrees.  I bought a 
replacement section and went ahead  with construction.  I never could figure 
out how that rope came loose, but from then on, I always made doubly sure 
that the rope was securely tied at both ends before I climbed the tower to 
attach the section.  I think what saved the tower was that the falling 
section was still attached to the heavy rope, which ran up to the top 
through the gin pole pulley and back down to the ground, and that 
tremendously slowed down the descent from what it would have been with a 
free fall.  Fortunately, it was the bottom knot that failed, not the top 
one. It didn't make any noise at all as it was falling.  I'm lucky I wasn't 
standing under the falling section.

I put up the tower single-handedly, standing on the ground and hoisting each 
section one at a time, tying off the rope and climbing the tower to attach 
the  new section, then moving the gin pole up to the top of the new section, 
climbing back down the tower to attach the next one, then repeating the 
whole procedure for all 13 sections.  I got plenty of exercise climbing up 
and down that tower, but I would usually put up only one or two sections a 
day, and working mostly on weekends, it took me several months.

At the time I could barely afford the tower hardware itself, let alone 
hiring someone to erect it, or help me erect it.  I started out with a 
couple of  local  ham volunteer helpers, but I quickly decided that wasn't 
going to work because everyone wanted to be boss, and someone could have got 
hurt with all the arguing and confusion, so I finished the job 

Don k4kyv 

More information about the AMRadio mailing list

This page last updated 19 Feb 2018.