George M (N2XM)'S NDB IMAGES

~~ GALLERY FOURTEEN ~~

The five NDBs pictured in the following have a common attribute: all have been decommissioned and partially dismantled ... only their "remains" were available for photographing. The five are: 'JJO' 396 Mountain City TN (36 24 59.434N 081 49 27.415W), 'LFB' 248 Lafayette TN (36 30 54.280N 086 03 39.546W), 'PBC' 365 'Maury Cty' Columbia/Mt Pleasant TN (35 36 29.559N 087 05 29.023W), 'HHY' 346 'Pinhook' Savannah TN (35 15 14.68 88 12 14.22), and 'TGC' 378 'Gibson' Trenton TN (35 56 03.243N 088 51 03.124W).

NOTE# - All of the following pictures are copyright 'George M N2XM', and should not be re-produced with out first obtaining his permission - please ask us for his contact details if you should require them.


'JJO' on 396.0 kHz at Mountain City, TN:

'JJO' on 396 kHz at Mountain City, TN is located in the most northeast corner of Tennessee along Airport Road, off Cracker Neck Road, about four miles south of Mountain City, TN. Sited in an elongated valley at an elevation of 2261 feet, it is surrounded on all sides by peaks only a mile or so distant and at least 1000 feet higher.

Presumably such was the reason it did not get out very well for DXing … it was logged only six times during its lifetime, the last being in Nov 2009, about a year before it was decommissioned. The airport manager euphemistically describes the dismantling of JJO's symmetrical T in early 2010 as follows: "... A crew arrived with chain saw and wire cutters. When they left only a corpse remained behind." (The corpse was the Southern Avionic transmitter unit. See Pics 3 & 4 below.)

Appended to this collection is a set of pictures taken during a kind demonstration by the airport manager of a GPS avionics display during a simulated flight.

Click on the images to see the full sized larger versions:

JJO 396.0 kHzJJO on 396 kHz at Mountain City, TN:

Approach to the airport. In this view looking north, the runway (not seen in this picture) runs on the left side of, and parallel to the approach north road (Airport Road). The surrounding mountains are the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Chain running along the Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Georgia. They are renamed the Great Smokey Mountains a few dozen miles further southwest in Tennessee. (247.0kb)
JJO 396.0 kHzJJO on 396 kHz at Mountain City, TN:

Dedication plaque at the airport's entrance. (286.0kb)
JJO 396.0 kHzJJO on 396 kHz at Mountain City, TN:

For this picture the airport manager kindly exhumed from a hanger storeroom, the "casket" (his term) remaining from the NDB's dismantling, a Southern Avionics Model SS250B Transmitter unit. (262.0kb)
JJO 396.0 kHzJJO on 396 kHz at Mountain City, TN:

View of the "corpse" inside the "casket". (269.0kb)
JJO 396.0 kHzMountain City, TN:

The airport manager, Dave Johnson, rolling out his private plane to the tarmac to allow clear access to the orbiting GPS satellites. Dave then kindly demonstrated the use of the plane's GPS on a simulated flight to the Dickson County Airport in Dickson, TN. See the next three pictures. (237.0kb)
JJO 396.0 kHzMountain City, TN:

Startup screen of the plane's Dynon Avionics GPS unit. (195.0kb)
JJO 396.0 kHzMountain City, TN:

In this view the plane is positioned on the runway ready for takeoff. Note the pictorial warning of mountains in the distance at the far end of the runway (cf. Pic 1). Superimposed on this display are the planes altitude (2310 feet, runway elevation), initial heading (01 degrees) and air speed (0 knots). (213.0kb)
JJO 396.0 kHzMountain City, TN:

In this simulated view, the plane is airborne and banked slightly to port (360 deg heading). The red regions are objects (in this instance mountains) 500 feet or less below the airplane. Yellow and blue regions outline lower obstructions at a further distance. Note "VJ" in the display at heading 349. This is the NDB VJ 236, 'Whine' Abington VA. The circular collection of dots above this Ident is the standard symbol on aircraft navigational charts for an NDB. The remaining Idents and symbols mark other airports, Vortac beacons, etc. (The airspeed and elevation reading in this display are to be ignored for these parameters have been "dummied" to permit the simulation.) (288.0kb)
JJO 396.0 kHzMountain City, TN:

A "homebrew" plane designed and constructed by a local flying enthusiast. The engine is a rebuilt Volkswagen unit salvaged from an antique VW "Beetle". The plane's takeoff speed is 34 knots, cruising speed 34 knots, and landing speed 34 knots. It is described as a "pleasure to fly". (213.0kb)


'LFB' on 245.0 kHz at Lafayette, TN:

'LFB' is located off Drury Ridge Road on the grounds of the Lafayette Municipal Airport, about 2 miles west of the town of Lafayette, TN. The beacon is listed in the RNA database as having been logged 37 times, the last being in November 2010. Originally installed in June 1980, the airport's manager commented that after the construction of a very large metal-roofed livestock auction building close by, the tuning and radiation pattern of the NDB was greatly disturbed, rendering it "...near useless after working well for so many years with few problems … ". It is now decommissioned.

Click on the images to see the full sized larger versions:

LFB 352.0 kHzLFB on 245 kHz Lafayette, TN:

Entrance to the airport off Drury Ridge Road. (417.0kb)
LFB 352.0 kHzLFB on 245 kHz Lafayette, TN:

Now silent, having served for over thirty years, it awaits removal for salvage. (411.0kb)
LFB 352.0 kHzLFB on 245 kHz Lafayette, TN:

The airport manager, who was involved in the original construction and installation of LFB, related that he had personally scribed the date construction began, 26 June 1980, in the tower's concrete base. (416.0kb)
LFB 352.0 kHzLFB on 245 kHz Lafayette, TN:

The main AC power panel, battered and rusted, now released from its past duty, lies in peaceful repose among the weeds at the tower's base. (588.0kb)


'PBC' on 365.0 kHz at 'Maury Cty' Columbia/Mt Pleasant, TN:

'PBC' is located off of Cayce Road, about 2 miles west of Columbia, TN and 8 miles northeast of Mt Pleasant, TN. A telephone conversation with the manager of the Maury County Airport (the NDB's owner) reported its decommissioning "... a couple of years back" and then in a later return call he added "... the beacon has been dismantled .. the County wanted to expand the adjacent park .. hey levelled the site and left only a pile of rubble". Apparently in its day PBC got out quite well for the RNA Database lists it as being logged 96 times, the last being in October 2010.

Click on the images to see the full sized larger versions:

PBC on 365 kHzPBC on 365 kHz at 'Maury Cty' Columbia/Mt Pleasant, TN:

Google Earth: the clear area adjacent to, and to the south of the gravel road running to the east from Cayce Road, is the former location of PCB. (260.0kb)
PBC on 365 kHzPBC on 365 kHz at 'Maury Cty' Columbia/Mt Pleasant, TN:

View of the gravel road while standing on Cayce Road and facing east. (341.0kb)
PBC on 365 kHzPBC on 365 kHz at 'Maury Cty' Columbia/Mt Pleasant, TN:

Present day (June 2013) view of the recently cleared and leveled site. Reseed with grass, PBC is thought to have been approximately positioned where the pole seen in this view is located. (273.0kb)
PBC on 365 kHzPBC on 365 kHz at 'Maury Cty' Columbia/Mt Pleasant, TN:

The final remains of PBC … a pile of broken concrete and scrapped security fencing left by the County Parks Department. It is heaped behind a wooden fenced area (see Pic 2) in the southeast corner of the leveled area. This pile of rubble serves as the sole doleful monument to a beacon that had served its purpose so well for so many years. (366.0kb)


'HHY' on 346.0 kHz at 'Pinhook' Savannah, TN:

'HHY' is located off Clifton Road just east of the the intersection with Naomi Drive, the site is about 3 miles northeast of Savannah, TN. Logged 15 times the last being in March 2009, this beacon has been decommissioned and partially dismantled – the hardware has been removed, only the towers and a steel mounting pole remain.

Click on the images to see the full sized larger versions:

HHY on 346 kHzHYY on 346 kHz 'Pinhook' Savannah, TN:

Google Earth view of the site. (375.0kb)
HHY on 346 kHzHYY on 346 kHz 'Pinhook' Savannah, TN:

First view of the HHY site when approached along Clifton Road from the west. In the distance on the right side of the road is the input AC power connection box, a common feature at many NDB sites. (328.0kb)
HHY on 346 kHzHYY on 346 kHz 'Pinhook' Savannah, TN:

Close up view of the input AC power connection box. Note that AC power has been disconnected ... i.e. the meter is missing. (275.0kb)
HHY on 346 kHzHYY on 346 kHz 'Pinhook' Savannah, TN:

West mounting pole for the symmetrical T antenna. (325.0kb)
HHY on 346 kHzHYY on 346 kHz 'Pinhook' Savannah, TN:

Hidden among the heavy undergrowth is a 4 inch diameter steel pipe about 5 feet high. The transmitter/coupler unit was likely mounted on this pipe. Zoom this picture to view. The top of the pipe is just to the left of the arrow insert. (436.0kb)
HHY on 346 kHzHYY on 346 kHz 'Pinhook' Savannah, TN:

In Memoriam: east antenna mounting pole fittingly festooned with a crown of wisteria wistfully marking HHY's years of past usefulness. (300.0kb)


'TGC' on 378.0 kHz at 'Gibson' Trenton, TN:

'TGC' on 378 was sited at the Gibson County Airport, TN, on Airport Road off the Milan Highway in southwest Tennessee. Located 6 miles southeast of Trenton TN and 5 miles west of Milan TN, in its day it seemingly got out quite well having been logged 65 times, the last being in February 2007. Heard in 19 states as far west as California and Oregon, the airport manager commented that it was "... decommissioned several years back when it stood in the way of the construction of an additional set of hangers here at the field."

Click on the images to see the full sized larger versions:

TGC on 378 kHzTGC on 378 kHz 'Gibson' Trenton, TN:

The only sign marking the airport. It is located atop the building housing the pilot's lounge at the airport. (159.0kb)
TGC on 378 kHzTGC on 378 kHz 'Gibson' Trenton, TN:

Photo of the NDB site taken with a wide-angle lens. TGC's demise was caused by the necessary removal of the left supporting pole of the beacon's symmetric-T antenna to clear the way for the tarmac for the hangers at far left in this picture. Note that before the hangers' construction, TGC was positioned in a flat and unobstructed region which likely contributing to it getting out quite well. (280.0kb)
TGC on 378 kHzTGC on 378 kHz 'Gibson' Trenton, TN:

Close-up view of the remains of TGC ... the Southern Avionics assemble surrounded by its rusting and teetering security fence. Sad and alone, it is quietly awaiting final decision on its fate. (362.0kb)



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We're very grateful to George for sharing this wonderful piece of NDB history with us, and if you have shots of your own that you would also like to see on display here in the NDB List Photo Gallery, we would love to hear from you too!



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