In backyards and neighborhoods across the country, aviation enthusiasts are able to take to the sky thanks to drones–unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). As a result, there is an increasing need to ensure that these craft are flown safely, especially when around power lines and electrical equipment.
If a drone flies into a power line, it could cause power interruptions. In October of 2015, a man flew a drone into power lines, causing an outage affecting nearly 650 people in West Hollywood. If a drone does get caught in power lines or equipment, such as a substation, you should never attempt to retrieve the aircraft. Call the power provider to safely remove the drone. Drones can even result in downed lines, which is a dangerous safety hazard. Don’t touch the drone, power lines or anything in contact with the lines (such as a fence or tree limb) and call 911 to notify emergency personnel and the utility immediately.
Remember these simple, but vital, tips if you’re taking your drone to the skies:
- Before flying, check the drone for any damage and have it repaired.
- Never fly drones beyond your line of sight.
- Do not fly in bad weather conditions, such as low viability or high winds.
- Never fly recklessly. You could be fined for endangering other people or aircraft.
- Do not fly near substations.
The simplest tip is to look around. Know where power lines are and keep them in mind as you take the skies.