Amateur Radio

Amateur Radio Tower Safety: Remembering Bill Carter KM5R

Bill Carter , KM5R, lost his life to a preventable tower incident during the CQ Worldwide Phone Contest in 1991. Late in the contest, he climbed his 60-foot tower to repair an antenna problem. He climbed without safety equipment and fell. Unfortunately, he did not survive the serious injuries he sustained. Attention to amateur radio tower safety practices would have saved his life.

Bill Carter KM5R - fell from his amateur radio tower in 1991
QST Magazine February 1992 page 79

With the big contests coming and major DXpeditions underway, be careful out there.

Only climb a safe tower.

Guyed towers are meant to be guyed at full manufacturers specifications – even when under construction or when being removed. Do not compromise. Ropes are not adequate guying. Guy with steel, at full tension — always.

Be 100% attached — always.

Use personal protection equipment — a full-body harness and dual fall-arrest lanyard. 100% means always — no exceptions.

Think safe and be conservative.

Don’t take on projects that are more than you can handle. Get help. Seek advice on complex projects. Never climb alone. Bring extra tools. Plan for unforeseen challenges.