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 Saskatoon Mountain Air Station.
The following detail has been taken from the Narrative Reports of Saskatoon Mountain Air Station.
1 January 1961 to 31 March 1961
The year started off with a bang for the Radar Section. On the night of January 2nd a power failure was experienced on base. This normally would have been a routine matter, however, the emergency air blowers which kept the inflatable radome expended failed to function. To make matters worse, there was a very strong wind from the southwest. The wind collapsed the radome, severely damaging the rubber sides. Men from all over the base, officers, airmen and civilians alike, worked throughout the night to repair the hole. Early the next morning the antenna was allowed to rotate once again. The radar was only on the air temporarily and on the night of the 4th of January the radome was cut from its moorings and removed from the tower by base personnel. On the 10th of January a new rigid radome was completed and our radar was put back on the air.
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.