Pinetree Line

The Wrath of Mother Nature


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 document 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 in Parent, QC.


The following detail has been taken from the Narrative Reports for RCAF Station Parent.

15 Oct 54

The night of 15 October found the fringes of Hurricane Hazel attempting to duplicate the damage perpetrated by the eye of the storm farther south. The anemometer which automatically controls the pressure inside the radar "balloons" was unable to cope with the wind strength and changes in direction. The result was that the balloon pressure was set manually to resist winds up to 85 mph. The storm was useful, however, in maintaining Nature's balance as it levelled many of the dead birch and spruce trees in the surrounding forests. These trees had died through raising of the mean temperature in the case of the birch, and through the ravages of the bud worm in the case of the spruce.

22 Jan 59

High winds damaged the AN/FPS-6 height finder antenna. Technical assistance was supplied by Canadian General Electric Company.

5 Mar 59

RCA Victor Company installed a Rigid Radome on the Arctic tower.

19 May 60

An attempt was made to cover an uncaulked radome with a 100 by 100 feet sheet of plastic. The project ended in failure due to the lift of the breeze and weakness of the plastic.


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.