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 Resolution Island, NWT.


The following detail has been taken from the Historical Reports of Resolution Island, NWT.

1 October 1955 to 31 December 1955

On 18th November both doublet antennas were broken due to high winds and icing conditions. The antennas were repaired and normal operation was resumed.

1 April 1956 to 30 June 1956

Severe winds, snow and ice storms have caused damage to insulation resulting in high voltage lines which later gave up to six "leaks and grounds" and eventually bring about power failure.

1 October 1958 to December 1958

Ice damage was incurred on two (2) UHF antennas and also on the antennas used on the Net 45. Rigger assistance was requested to repair this damage. In addition, one of the two obsolete 300-foot antenna towers collapsed because of ice and was completely destroyed. However, these antennas are no longer used, so this loss had no effect on the mission of this unit.

1 January 1959 to 31 March 1959

During the month of January riggers arrived from the Marconi depot to repair antennas damaged due to ice and high winds. Three UHF antennas were damaged beyond repair, and a requisition was submitted by Supply to replace them. All of the Net 45 transmit-receive antennas had been damaged, but were repaired by team riggers. This team also dismantled, checked, and cleaned all air-to-ground antennas. The LF Net 45 transmitting antenna was not repaired due to the lack of materiel; however, it has formerly proved to be very ineffectual, and it was felt that delaying the riggers until the proper materials for repair arrived could not be justified in view of the time and money involved.

1 July 1959 to 30 September 1959

On 14 September a severe ice and wind storm disabled the following equipment: all Net 61 antennas; antenna for the Resolution Island Beacon (URN-5); two VHF antennas; all guy wires for VHF and UHF antennae; and parts of the HY-Gain TRI-Element amateur radio beam antenna; plus Pole Vault circuitry to the south.

1 October 1959 to 31 December 1959

On 27 October, an ice storm destroyed the LF, MF, and HF Net 61 antennas. In addition, the following antennas were lost: Ship to Shore, Net 61 receiver, one VHF AS/5003, and one MARS Hi Gain Tri-Band. Five guy wires broke loose due to insufficient tension when installed by the overhaul team.


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.