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Photo Captures Ugly Lightning Damage to FM Antenna System

Little Rock station was zapped by lightning and is operating on its aux

Photo of part of KKPT's FM broadcast antenna, badly damaged by an apparent lightning strikeKKPT, a Class C FM station in Little Rock, Ark., is using its backup air chain after its main broadcast antenna system was struck by lightning.

The classic rock station, owned by Signal Media of Arkransas, posted this vivid photo on its Twitter account.

The station tweeted, “If you’re having trouble hearing us, you can stream 24/7 at, listen with our free Alexa skill, or download the free Point 94.1 app.”

KKPT is licensed for 100 kW ERP at about 1,600 feet and has an auxiliary license for 8.7 kW at approximately 820 feet. Its transmission facilities are part of the Shinall Mountain antenna farm on the western edge of Little Rock, according to several online resources.

We reached out to the station to learn more and will share any update.

One veteran engineering reader who saw the photo commented: “It doesn’t look like lightning damage per se, but rather RF arc damage. My guess is lightning may have caused a brief arc-over high VSWR and the RF voltage at that point in the line continued to feed the arc until the metal failure.”