American Tower, Haupu Ridge. We had to get the equipment, including antennas, feedline, rack, combiner, transmitters, reject loads, monitors, and everything else from the staging area up to the tower. There are no trails, roads or any access except by helicopter.
Air One, Island Helicopters, the company with the attitude and the machines to do the job. Black gloves, black boots, black pants, black tee-shirts, black hats and a black Hughes 500 helicopter, along with a 100 foot long, 1 inch diameter line and numerous sling nets were the chosen method. My hired ground crew stood in awe of the machine. A crusing speed of 110 mph means the job gets done quickly!
A very quick ride up, and then unload and get out of the way as quickly as possible was the word of the day. Now we wait, but only briefly, for the first sling load. Note the lack of side doors and windows. Also note that the landing area is, shall we say, fairly narrow!
The H500 is a fast machine. So fast, in fact, by the time I snapped the picture as he shot off the ledge, he was down the ridge in an instant.
All photos (C) 2003
Don Mussell, Consulting Engineer
© 2003 Broadcast Engineering Services of Bonny Doon