I have been very fortunate to be on top of some of the largest buildings in the city of Chicago in recent years. Helicopter lifting operations take me to places that are off limits to many and that provide a great perspective on the city. However, until recently, the highest point in the city was not one I had been to. The top of the Sears Tower (I don’t know many that use its other name) had eluded me. The Skydeck doesn’t count of course!
This changed with the installation of the new TV antenna for ABC on top of the building. The good team at Construction Helicopters had been contracted to install the new antenna having helped removing the old one. We gathered early one Sunday morning for the job to commence. This is a location that is unmatched unless you are actually airborne. I will post some views from on high in upcoming posts. However, the first post is an aviation themed one – no great surprise for this blog!
The aircraft used was a Sikorsky S-61N. The aircraft was leased from a Canadian company and was actually on its last job with Construction before being returned. They have acquired a Super Puma which I hope to see in action at some point. The S-61N is an old design but regular upgrades have kept it as a very capable machine. It staged out of Midway and picked the loads from down at the bottom of the tower. The vertical climb is quite a long one but they did well, not only in placing the loads, but holding them for some time while they were secured. Good job to everyone involved.