Vertigo inducing footage captured by a drone in South Dakota depicts one climber’s day at the office, as he scales a 1,500 foot TV Tower in order to simply change a lightbulb.
The climber, Kevin Schmidt of South Dakota, is a project manager at Sioux Falls Tower and Communications, according to the Daily Mail. He was filmed while scaling a now-inactive tower, the KDLT-TV antenna in Salem, in order to replace the burnt out lightbulb that warns aircraft away from the structure.
Schmidt makes his ascent confidently and with precision, clipping his safety gear to the tower as he goes. His job isn’t for the faint of heart, nor those who fear heights, as he stands 1,500 feet above the ground by the time he reaches the top of the tower, with little protecting him other than his safety harness. Schmidt regularly climbs towers like the KDLT antenna, engaging in maintenance work.
The ascent was captured on film by Prairie Aerial videography, based in Sioux Falls, according to io9. Utilizing a quadcopter drone, they were able to film Schmidt’s work from a variety of unique angles, revealing exactly how far above the ground the tower’s apex stands.
Another of the firm’s videos depicts the fall of a 300 foot cable head end tower in Jackson, MN, while their Facebook page notes that a forthcoming work will detail the demolition of the KWTV Channel 9 TV tower in Oklahoma City. Erected in 1954, the historic tower was inaugurated by Johnny Carson, and is noted as the first structure to surpass the height of the Empire State Building.
Tower hands like Schmidt face a multitude of dangers in the course of their work. Earlier this summer, a climber on a cell tower in Kentucky was decapitated in a freak accident, leaving his body suspended hundreds of feet above the ground. As the Inquisitr previously noted, 28-year-old Joel Metz, a father of four, was killed while working with a team of three other tower hands, attempting to raise an 1,800 pound boom into place.
Though tower work is dangerous, it can also lead to unique opportunities. In the video, Schmidt can be seen taking an obligatory selfie after changing the lightbulb, capturing his moment at 1,500 feet before beginning his descent of the TV tower.
[Image: Prairie Aerial/ YouTube via the Daily Mail]