Tower Engineer Ernie Jones Dies In Accident

The principle in Consolidated Engineering Inc. was killed Wednesday while inspecting the tower of KOCO Oklahoma City.

Ernie Jones, 65, a principle in Consolidated Engineering Inc. of Lynnville, Ind., died Wednesday during an inspection of KOCO Oklahoma City’s broadcast tower.

Few details about the incident are available. Brent Hensley, president and general manager of the Hearst Television ABC affiliate, said the inspection was routine.

“Obviously, we are saddened by his death and our thought and prayers go out to Ernie’s family, friends and the people who knew him well, including our Hearst family,” said Hensley.

Jones’ business associate David Davies said he had worked with Jones for 52 years at various companies. Incorporated in 1990, CEI has provided engineering analysis, tower renovation and other services for a variety of broadcasters, including Hearst, CBS, Citadel Broadcasting, Clear Channel Communications and Kentucky Educational Television.

The CEI website says Jones played an important role in the development of various tower- and structure-related standards, including the ANSI/TIA-1019 Gin Pole Standard. Jones also since 1986 had been a member of the telecommunications and electronics industry association responsible for writing and approving the ANSI/TIA/EIA-222 Standard, the American National Standard for Steel Antenna Towers and Antenna Supporting Structures.

Both Jones and Davies provided information for the Digital Tech Consulting study of the FCC TV band repack conducted for NAB.

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Jay Adrick, an independent consultant and former Harris Broadcast VP, spent “a considerable amount of time” interviewing both Davies and Jones while working on the DTC repack report.

“Ernie was very valuable resource to the industry, and obviously he will be missed, especially during this very important time of transition in the television industry,” Adrick said.


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