WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A local radio station is getting hit hard by thieves, stealing hundreds of feet of copper wire that power its broadcast towers.

The owner says he's now scrambling to find a solution, and it's also putting him on the Federal Aviation Administration's radar.

"See how it comes out? But it doesn't go to the ground, because they cut it out," said Terry Atherton.

Atherton is the owner of KSGL, a local Christian radio station that's been around for decades. And to lifelong KAKE viewers, he might look familiar. Atherton worked as a photographer and reporter at KAKE decades ago for 20 years before buying his radio station.

But now, he's having a major problem.

"They don't get much out of what they steal. But it is really something that's devastating to the people that it happens to," said Atherton.

Thieves are stealing hundreds of feet of copper wire and electrical coils that power his two huge broadcast towers near Central and West Street.

"It doesn't matter what kind of havoc they cause. They destroy the wiring that goes to the towers," he said.

Thankfully, the towers still clearly transmit his station on 900 AM and 105.7 FM, but it left him with no way to properly light the towers at night, something he's legally required to do by the FAA.

"As a pilot yourself, you know that it is on the checklist of things that you look out for," said Atherton.

He's talking about a Notice to Airmen, or a "NOTAM." Pilots check for these special notes about flying conditions, and for Atherton's tower, it says "lights unserviceable," so if a pilot flying in the area at night has an emergency, they know to watch for it.

Atherton's NOTAM is about to expire, so he's hoping to find a solution soon, but it's not going to be easy, or cheap.

"That coil that works on the light, that's an expensive one," said Atherton. "My hope is that doesn't happen again. I hope that's a realistic thing to hope for."

Atherton says his goal is to find the money to fix the towers within the next several months before he starts potentially getting fined by the FAA on top of it.