Designing the Big Boom

24 May, 2006 By: Michelle Nicolson

Helicopter pilot calls on mechanical engineering background to create safer approach to producing controlled avalanches


It's a dangerous job: Fly a helicopter into the mountains and throw lighted dynamite out the cabin door to produce a controlled avalanche. To make matters worse, half the time the dynamite doesn't explode when it hits the snow, leaving another type of hazard for the people on the ground -- who must trek through this treacherous territory to find the duds or risk injury to innocent people hiking in the area after the snow melts.p>

"Having 200 kilograms of dynamite in the cabin and some guy in the back with a lighter or some matches always made me feel a little nervous," says Werner Greipl of Heli Rescue Consult.

He thought he could design a better solution.  Read more >>


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About the Author: Michelle Nicolson