Last week, a Winter storm affected much of Britain and central Europe. Top contester DL1A in Munich was hard hit. Here are some details thanks to Wayne (W3EA) of the Frankford Radio Club.
The station was located on the roof of a furniture store in a west suburb of Munich (Germering). This privately owned furniture store, once owned by DJ6ZM but now his daughter runs the business, was not one of these huge furniture outlets that now dominate the market there in Germany. The space on the buildings flat roof was limited, maybe 40 by 20 meters, and the roof is ~ 30ft above ground. The antenna “farm” consisted out of the main tower, about 25m high and the former main tower attached to a very strong chimney (a concrete block that was fixed and connected to the flat roof). This second tower was only ~ 20m high, did not have any guy wires, and was only attached to this concrete block with a massive metal construction. The main tower was rotatable with a very heavy duty/industry quality rotor. This main tower was secured with 1cm strong steel cables.
During the storm the western guy wire failed and was ripped off and the main tower- which then caused others to fail and long story short the main tower gave way and came down crashing down into the second tower (exactly in the eastern direction). This storm was not a heavy as many other previous storms which hadn’t caused any damage on this antenna system, but obviously it contained heavy enough blasts which had been too massive for this construction. I heard from one of the guys (Hans DL9W) that very close/near by (~ 500m more west), a construction crane was also also came crashing to ground and that if this would have happened just 10-15 minutes later, very likely several children could have been injured or killed, as it fell in an area which is used by school kids.
Many stations including myself have reached out, expressed their condolence to Toffy, and encouraged him to rebuild the station; however, this likely will not happen, due to several personal reasons, which I won’t get into. Suffice it to say that Toffy is retired now and no longer owns the building on which the antennas were positioned (his daughter took over the business a few years ago) and the expense was tremendous.
Anyways, the reason for the end of DL1A: small root cause…tremendous consequences… DL1A SK RIP.