Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Watching the Wind

It was quite a windy day here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The wind was blowing all day in the 20 MPH range with gusts between 30 and 40.

That isn't anything that would generally bother me in most situations, but when I have to extend 50 some odd feet of sectioned aluminum up in the air, with what amounts to a large sail attached to the top of it, I tend to get a bit nervous.

The logistics of most of these microwave live shots means extending the mast as far as it will go so that the Transmitter on the truck can send it's signal (that goes in a straight line) to the receiver that is mounted on a building or a tower depending on which receive site I am nearest to.

Luckily today I was in a high spot and could make the shot happen with the mast only about 75 percent extended.

A job I wouldn't want to have during today's blow was the job of the guy who landed this helicopter at the Mt. Airy Airport. The video I took of it coming in is something to behold as the chopper wiggles back and forth as it crabs it's way into Runway 36.

I asked to pilot how the flying was and he said it was so choppy it would rattle your teeth.

Someone else said, "You don't fly helicopters, you keep 'em from crashing." I didn't go up. Thankfully I didn't have to. I normally like flying, but I just didn't feel like it would have been fun today.

We did our Live shot later on the events of a story about a missing elderly King couple. The lady was found walking along a busy roadside. She had slipped into a state of dementia and thinks she is still in her hometown and that her husband is safe at home.

Reality is that since Sunday, she had driven them to a point that is five hours from home and apparently left her husband, who sufers from the effects of a stroke and can't get around easily, somewhere with their car.

To top it all off, sometime between when they went missing and when she was found, a police officer took them to stay at a motel because their car had broken down. They stayed overnight, got their car fixed, and then left the motel, only for the woman to be found later by herself.

I guess that's the way the wind blows.

And I can't understand why the competition brought their satelite truck for their live shot for this story. (Sorry, no pic of the sat truck)

From the King PD you can see the mountain with their receive site on it. I wouldn't have to raise the mast at all to do that shot.

Maybe they were scared of the wind!

No comments: