Let's be careful out there, folks!
- Following clip from ARRL Letter V25 #22 of 6/2/06:
73 de Mike W5VSI
==>TWO RADIO AMATEURS DIE DURING MOBILE HIDDEN TRANSMITTER HUNT
Two ARRL members from California are dead after the vehicle in which they
were riding during a mobile hidden transmitter hunt May 27 went over a cliff
in rugged terrain near Lake Isabella in Kern County. They were identified as
Michael G. Obermeier, K6SNE, of Anaheim, and David A. Gordon-Ross, N6IDF, of
Yucaipa. Obermeier, an ARRL Official Observer in Orange County, was 46.
Gordon-Ross was 35.
"Mike and Dave were some of the best T-hunters in the biz," said Scott
Press, N6SAP, calling both "true assets to this hobby." In his role as an
OO, Obermeier reportedly had participated in the infamous Jack Gerritsen
radio jamming case in the Los Angeles area.
According to media accounts, a Kern County Sheriff's Department
search-and-rescue team located the victims early Monday, May 29. Obermeier
was driving the 1991 4-wheel-drive Jeep Cherokee that apparently went out of
control on Cook Peak Road while the pair was proceeding to the next hidden
transmitter site. After caroming off a rock wall, the vehicle crossed the
road and plunged down a 900-foot cliff. They were reported missing after
failing to check in with T-hunt organizers.
Greg Pitta, KF6DBJ, reports Obermeier and Gordon-Ross were on a half-day
multiple-transmitter T-hunt. "Both K6SNE and N6IDF were expert transmitter
hunters, each with hundreds of hunts completed, ranking with top scores in
most," he said.
ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV,
knew both men. He notes that Obermeier had suffered a sports-related spinal
cord injury that left him a paraplegic. "He did all the adaptive work on his
vehicles, of which he had quite a few that he used over time for RDF," Moell
said. Despite his physical limitations, Obermeier also enjoyed foxhunting
from his wheel chair.
Moell says Gordon-Ross had been a proficient mobile T-hunter for many years.
He took a brief hiatus after his first child was born in April 2005 (his
wife, Melanie, is KF6GWV), but he recently became active again.
According to Moell, the mobile transmitter hunts take place on the fourth
Saturday of each month on 2-meter FM simplex, starting out from a hilltop in
Rancho Palos Verdes. He says it's not uncommon for the main hidden
transmitter to be hundreds of miles away--175 highway miles in this
The 147.435 Amateur Radio Repeater System is collecting donations to help
Melanie Gordon-Ross, a stay-at-home mom. It also will donate all proceeds
from its 16th annual 435 Chili Cook-off June 10. Visit the 147.435 Web site
<http://www.435online.com> for additional information.
Mike Manes manes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
"Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so." A. Einstein