Tower repairman becomes high-altitude viral star

Kevin Schmidt said changing the light bulb atop the 1,500-foot tower was "just another day at the office."

By Ben Hooper
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SALEM, S.D., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A South Dakota communications company worker became a viral star with a drone video showing him changing a light bulb -- 1,500 feet above the ground.

Kevin Schmidt, who has been performing maintenance on towers around the country for about eight years, was tracked by a drone with a video camera when he made the 1,500-foot climb up a now-defunct Sioux Falls Tower & Communications television tower to change out the light bulb that alerts planes to the tower's location.


The tower formerly broadcast for KDLT-TV, but went out of service when TV signals switched from analog to digital.

Schmidt told CNNMoney the feat was "just another day at the office" for him, but the video taken in September at the tower outside of Salem made him a viral star.

The video was posted in November, but only went viral this week -- shooting up from 250,000 views to nearly one million between Sunday and Wednesday.

"I was kind of in awe of the quality of it," Schmidt said of the video. "It truly captures what I see from the top of that tower."


The drone video was produced by Prairie Aerial, a company created last year by Todd Thorin, who works with Schmidt at Sioux Falls Tower & Communications.

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