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 at Red Cliff, NF.
The following detail has been taken from the Historical Reports for Red Cfliff AFS.
1 January 1956 to 31 March 1956
During the month of January, two anemometers were damaged by a wind storm, one of them being damaged beyond repair.
1 April 1956 to 30 June 1956
The field wire line between this site and the water supply dam was re-installed on poles. The line had to be removed from the poles during the winter months because of high winds and icing of the line. The lightening rods for all the radomes were damaged by an ice storm this past winter.
1 January 1958 to 31 March 1958
An ice storm on 28 February 1958 caused havoc with the electrical lines on the site. A total of fifteen telephone lines came down. The ten pair cable running to the MARS shack was also damaged when a large piece of ice fell from a pole and put a three inch gash in the cable.
1 October 1958 to 31 December 1958
A storm moved in during the latter part of November and held up the replacing of the new site cable. The condition continued into and through the month of December.
1 October 1959 to 31 December 1959
The Ground to Air Receiving and Transmitting ability of the unit was hampered due to antenna trouble. This is a recurring difficulty which is encountered during periods of precipitation and high winds. Moisture enters the antennaa and shorts out the signal.
1 April 1961 to 30 June 1961
High winds on 3 April 1961, were responsibile for the unlashing of overhead cable on this station. Emergency maintenance was requested from Canadian Marconi since this was beyond the capability of the assigned personnel.
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.