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1500 foot tower mishap

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Subject: 1500 foot tower mishap
From: (Glenn D. O'Donnell)
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 96 11:20:34 EDT
> >     I currently have two towers, each having three sets of guy 
> >wires.  I put the high set of guys on one anchor, and the lower two sets 
> >on a separate anchor.  This I feel is safer in case an anchor lets go.
> >(Incidently, what let go in the tree accident was the guy wire clamps and 
> >the tower sections which bent but not the anchors.)
> >     If I should ever lose a top guy wire or its anchor, should I expect 
> >to have the tower collapse instead of bending?
>       Interesting question.  According to the information that I've seen, a
> guyed tower will fall typically within a circle around its base approximately
> 30% of its height.  It doesn't "fall over" because it is constrained, or
> tethered, by the remaining guy wires.  Talk about a pile of scrap...
>     BTW, this probably shoots the heck out of tower building set-back
> regulations.
> 73,  Steve K7LXC

Several years ago, a freak ice storm (freak even for these parts) caused
the WBRE-TV tower to collapse.  The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA area station's
tower succumbed to the weight of the ice buildup on the tower itself and the
guy wires.  I don't recall how high it was, but a friend who surveyed the
damage described it as collapsing with a corkscrew type of effect.  The
twisted wreckage was contained within a fairly small area.

My friend said it was one of the most unbelievable sights he's ever seen.
This was a huge tower with extremely strong SOLID steel members.  Mother
Nature has a way of humbling us simple humans and our relatively inept
engineered structures!

May God bless the Texas victims and their loved ones.

73 de Glenn, N3BDA

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