Broadcaster Gets FCC OK to Relocate After Plane Knocks Out Tower

The FCC granted an engineering Special Temporary Authority (STA) this week to Victoria Radioworks, owner of KNAL(FM), Port Lavaca, Texas, 130 miles southwest of Houston. A crop dusting plane hit the tower (ASR# 1047060) on which KNAL’s antenna was located. The nearly 502-foot AGL tower was built in 1975 in Victoria, TX.

The October 13 crash “resulted in the death of the pilot, and significant damage to both the KNAL antenna, and the tower itself,” wrote engineering consultant Jeremy Ruck in KNAL’s STA request. KNAL has been trying to restore reliable full-power operation from the site.  

But the quickest and most efficient way to get KNAL back on-air was to temporarily move to another tower Victoria Radioworks owns, the one that supports antennas for sister FMs KVIC and KBAR. 

From this site, KNAL would continue to operate on its current channel, with a “maximum effective radiated power of 6.9 kW at a center of radiation of 90.3 meters above average terrain or 112.6 meters above mean sea level” using a non-directional antenna, according to Ruck. He also notes the STA contour is fully within KNAL’s licensed 60 dBu service contour.   

KNAL is working with consultants and engineers to repair its original antenna and tower. Victoria Radioworks told the FCC it’s hopeful the station will be able to “resume operations with KNAL’s licensed facilities” within 180 days.

November 7, 2018

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