The Wrath of Mother Nature
It was not unusual to experience damage at Pinetree Line radar stations due to high winds. What is unusual is the apparent lack of a compiled documentation that provides details indicating "what happened, where, and when". This file contains a summary of "significant" Pinetree Line radar station "wind damage" that is known, and documented, to have occurred at Melville AFS, at Goose Bay Labrador.
The following detail has been taken from the Historical Records of Melville Air Station.
1 January 1955 to 31 March 1955
At approximately 1930Z, 12 February 1955, the antenna assembly of the back-up search radar, AN/CPS-5D blew off due to high winds. At the time the antenna left its mount, winds were recorded at approximately 105 MPH on the AN/CPS-5D Radome Pressure Control Panel. This section did all that was possible to correct some of the damage. They succeeded in straightening out all the reflector sections so that they could be used again. The damage due to the winds were as follows: seven sections of upper half of parabolic reflector; six roller assemblies of turn table; MX/1233 adapter modification for CGX-13. It is estimated that the cost of reinstalling the antenna is $3085.00.
There is no doubt in my mind that there have been other examples of "significant" Pinetree Line "wind damage" which has taken place. As an example, I keep hearing about the Saglek situation – where their height finder was an apparent victim. This unit was located at the edge of a 1,800 foot cliff – so you can imagine the damage to any radar equipment that "went over the side". I continue to hope that some day, some one will provide some "official detail" – and then we will be able to add this occurrence to our list.
If you have any knowledge of other "significant" Pinetree Line "wind damage", please help us out and pass the detail to us – via an email message. Many thanks.