640 kHz
Los Angeles, CA
It took KFI 3 1/2 years to secure all necessary approvals and permits to construct a replacement main tower in La Mirada, CA after the original 750' main tower was struck by a light plane on approach to Fullerton Airport Sunday morning 12/19/2004 and collapsed, killing the pilot and passenger. The stacking of steel for the replacement tower began on Saturday March 15, 2008 and by Tuesday March 18 almost 300 feet were up. At around 2:30PM a mechanical failure occurred, causing the half-built tower to fall. As with the original, it collapsed mostly on itself, touching none of the nearby buildings. The original tower had guy wires at two levels at 1/3 and 2/3 of its height. The replacement was to have seven levels, starting fairly low on the tower. This low guy wires created an issue with vehicular traffic needing to pass under it. So an 8-foot tall riser pole was incorporated near the northeast guy anchor point, where the guy wires would attach with a 3-inch solid steel rod connecting the top of the riser pole down to the actual anchor deadman. This rod was segmented and connected with a very heavy turnbuckle, so that the riser pole could be adjusted to vertical after the loading of the full guy wire set was applied. In the mechanical failure the lower threaded 3-inch steel rod stripped and pulled through the turnbuckle, thereby releasing the guy wires and tower from the anchor deadman. As the tower fell away from the failure point, the attached guy wires pulled the 8-foot riser pole over and right out of its concrete base, then gathered up the chain link perimeter fence and headed into a nearby parking lot. These pictures were taken by me the next day. KFI was transmitting from a temporary site in Montecito Heights in Los Angeles at the time and did not go off the air.














Questions? E-mail Paul Sakrison at paul@sakrison.com
(C)Copyright 2008 Paul H. Sakrison