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Interesting about Arkansas

Postby ponytalk » Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:17 pm

Scoreboard Emits Emergency Signal

September 20, 2000


Filed at 9:14 a.m. ET

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- The new video scoreboard at Arkansas'
Razorback Stadium, designed to show replays of touchdowns, instead
sent out an emergency signal indicating a plane was down.

The signal was picked up Tuesday at Langley Air Force Base in
Hampton, Va. In northwest Arkansas, the Civil Air Patrol prepared
for action after receiving the transmission about 6 a.m.

But Federal Aviation Administration officials located the source of
the signal before long.

``We've identified it as being a Jumbotron,'' FAA official Don
Struebing said.

The fiber-optic transmitter that sends signals to the
3,210-square-foot video screen apparently did so on an emergency
frequency. The screen -- a Saco Smartvision, not a Sony Jumbotron
-- was being tested in preparation for its debut Saturday during
the Alabama-Arkansas game.

``This is very rare. That just happened to match the local
frequencies,'' said Jerry Pufall, who operates the screen.

The base at Langley gave a set of coordinates to a local emergency
response crew, which ultimately found itself at the stadium, but
not before a lot of confusion.

The coordinates give a general location, within 20 miles of a site,
said Capt. David Winslow, a pilot with the air patrol's Northwest
Arkansas Composite Squadron.

Upon hearing the signal, Winslow said that it seemed to be coming
from within three miles of Drake Field airport in Fayetteville.

``I had mentioned, what's changed here recently?'' Washington
County 911 coordinator John Luther. ``Well, all of a sudden you've
got this huge stadium scoreboard.''

``That was where the strongest signal was, right there at the
stadium,'' Winslow said.

Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles said the frequency would
be modified.

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