Spectacular – 100-year-old girder mast "plucked out" with a helicopter.

Zurich: narrow streets, a densely populated residential neighbourhood with idyllic courtyards and, in the immediate vicinity, the children's hospital with helicopter entry lane. In the middle of all this, a girder mast that's more than 100 years old. The time has now come to dismantle the mast on behalf of Swisscom under the project management of cablex Field Services. 

Carolin Rabea Primerova 1-1
Author Carolin Rabea Primerova

Spectacular dismantling of a lattice mast from 1914.

It's a sunny morning in Zurich. The girder mast from 1914 can be reached via a narrow courtyard entrance. The around 12-metre-high relic stands in the middle of a lovingly tended courtyard. The neighbourhood was personally informed about the removal of the mast by the construction manager, Patrick Linggi. The atmosphere is good, almost friendly – nevertheless, a little bit of excitement can be felt among the residents. Some are a little melancholic at the thought of the mast being removed. However, most of them are glad that it's being dismantled, as they too are beginning to worry about its age and condition. When Patrick Linggi tells them that the mast will be restored and reinstalled by the "Zentralwäscherei" association, everyone is happy, and saying goodbye to the rusty neighbour is a lot easier. 

Just before the big moment. 

The mast is to be detached from its foundation with an angle grinder and then "plucked out" between the houses by helicopter and deposited on the neighbourhood road. From there it will be loaded onto a transport vehicle and taken to the site of the "Zentralwäscherei".  

Before noon, preparations and arrangements with the flight assistants from the company Rotex are well underway. Part of the gazebo adjacent to the mast must be dismantled. The four mast stubs have already be cut off partially, so that the removal can take place more quickly later on. 

The residents are curious. Young and old alike are excitedly awaiting the removal. Everyone wants to watch, but they have been told to keep a safe distance. Shortly after the lunch break, the approaching K-Max 1200 can be heard. Then everything happens very quickly: The helicopter assistants attach the mast to the helicopter with the transport cable, which is then put under tension. The specialists from Field Services cut through the last few centimetres connecting the mast to the foundation before the 110-year-old girder mast starts floating away. Everything's going according to plan for Patrick Linggi, his team, the helicopter assistants and the local residents. 

The course is set for success with empathy and professionalism. 

The good preparation work, the personal information that was provided in advance, and the friendly handling of resident concerns by Patrick Linggi ensured things went smoothly. The professionalism of the Field Services team and the partner, Rotex, ensured everything was handled successfully and, above all, safely on-site. 

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