[Translate to EN:] Bergkulisse im Winter

28.02.2019 | Sports & Freetime

What is the Daisy-Bell doing on the rope from the helicopter?

 

 

The safety in the ski area

Safety in the ski resorts is the top priority. This winter in particular, the experts were often in demand and also challenged. The fact that behind the lovely name "Daisy-Bell" is a new system for securing the slopes is new. The Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel relies on the new system. The "Daisy-Bell" is based on the principle of a pressure wave that goes under the snow cover. However, blasting is still done by hand as well as Gasex or blasting masts.  

Our questions about the Daisy-Bell answered, Daniel Seyr, an expert who has been employed by Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel for over 8 years. Since 2013 at the snow system in the Pengelstein area and since the year 2015 he is blasting authorized. 

The training to become an authorized blaster

The training to become an authorized blaster lasts two weeks. Here you learn about different blasting methods or the calculation of the rock to use the right amount of explosives. The whole course includes a lot of theory as well as practice (preparing ammunition as well as assembling detonators and blasting caps). There is a theoretical exam that lasts half a day.

During the course the handling of explosives is trained, a mistake could be fatal. After this "basic course" one is authorized to blast rock. A separate course is required for avalanche blasting. This course lasts another 3 days. Both courses are necessary to be allowed to trigger avalanches! There are further courses to eject ammunition from the helicopter. 

Dear Daniel, please explain to us in simple terms. What exactly does the Daisy Bell do? And above all, what makes it so unique?

The Daisy-Bell works quite simply on the principle of a controlled "gas explosion".  Which is ignited by a mixture of technical oxygen and technical hydrogen. The ignition is done via radio from the helicopter after the distance of about 1.5-2 meters has been reached. This is measured by a rangefinder which is located on the lower part. The ignition causes an explosion inside the Daisy-Bell, which results in a pressure wave that goes under the snowpack to trigger avalanches or cause the snowpack to settle.

What makes the Daisy-Bell so unique? Is definitely that you can trigger avalanches in steep terrain without putting the blasting team itself in danger and there may be no safe escape route from the blasting point. You can also reach places or blast points faster where you might not be able to get to on foot.

As far as we know, Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel is the only cable car company in Austria that has such a system. What is necessary on the part of the cable car company to be able to use such a system?

That's right, Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel is the only ski resort in Austria that has this system. We are responsible for maintenance or readiness for use. No extra courses are required to operate the Daisy-Bell. Since it is not explosives in this sense. A small group of three men takes care of the handling and maintenance of the Daisy-Bell and is always on alert.

How much does a Daisy-Bell weigh and can it be attached to an ordinary helicopter?

The Daisy-Bell has a total weight of 550kg with the two gas bottles.

You could attach the Daisy-Bell to any helicopter, but the helicopter has to be wired specifically to be able to evaluate the GPS data of the individual blast points, as this is of high importance for our documentation. In our case the helicopter of the company Kitzair is wired. We are in close contact with Georg Schuster and his crew in order to be able to carry out missions as quickly as possible.

Can you tell us about the range of the Daisy Bell and how accurate is the Bell?

The range of the Daisy-Bell depends on the tank volume of the helicopter. As well as the gas pressure in the two gas bottles, as well as the battery of the ignition module or the remote control.

In regular operation we can perform about 80 to 90 blasts, after that we would have to switch to the reserve cylinders. Should we have an operation at the Kitzbüheler Horn, there are fixed flight routes where we are allowed to fly over the federal road. If there is a mission further away, the Daisy-Bell will be loaded onto a truck and deposited there.

The precision of the Daisy-Bell depends on the structure of the snow cover.  If the snow cover is compressed by the wind, success is rather limited. The terrain also plays a big role, the steeper a slope the easier it is to trigger a snow slab. Each operation is different, depending on snow, temperature and wind. 

Lift Gondeln im Winter

Since when has the new system been used in the Kitzbühel ski area?

The Daisy-Bell has been in use since the winter of 2015. It was originally purchased to ensure the safety of the Brunnbahn and the associated slopes. At the same time, other "blasting points" were adapted, which are located throughout the ski area of Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel, Steinbergkogel, Schwarzkogelabfahrt, Jochberg ski area and on the Kitzbüheler Horn.  

The Daisy-Bell is stationed at the "Streiteck" competence center.

What is a shooting fee?

As soon as the ski area of the Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel is secured, it can also be "rented" in other ski areas or communities, the resulting costs are called "shot fee". 

To ensure the safety of roads or ski slopes here as well. These flights are planned, coordinated and processed by us in consultation with the company Kitzair. Unfortunately, I can not personally give you exact figures of the flight costs or the shot fee.

Information about Daisy-Bell

  • Helicopter transport with 15-30 meters long rope.
  • Classified by aviation authorities as cargo transport
  • Autonomy: 50 to 70 releases depending on cylinder size
  • Weight: 390 kg without bottles
  • Energy self-sufficient: powered by rechargeable batteries
  • Gas inflow time: 5 seconds
  • Control in the cockpit of the helicopter with portable control panel (radio link)
  • Certified for temperatures down to -30°C
  • Integrated ground distance measurement
  • Developed in compliance with European directives

Here is a short video of the Daisy-Bell in action: Voll auf die Glocke – 3sat.Mediathek 

Contact

The Kitzbühel Tourism team is at your disposal at any time!

TELEPHONE
0043 5356 66660


E-MAIL
info@kitzbuehel.com


ON SITE
Hinterstadt 18 | 6370 Kitzbühel 


Press contact

Anna Lena Obermoser
0043 5356 66660 16
​​​​​​​a.obermoser@kitzbuehel.com

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Contact

The Kitzbühel Tourism team is at your disposal at any time!

TELEPHONE
0043 5356 66660


E-MAIL
info@kitzbuehel.com


ON SITE
Hinterstadt 18 | 6370 Kitzbühel 


Press contact

Anna Lena Obermoser
0043 5356 66660 16
​​​​​​​a.obermoser@kitzbuehel.com