Quick Start Guide Electric Utilities
SECTION 03: KEY SAFETY MESSAGES
Incidents • A medevac helicopter contacted an overhead electric distribution power line while transporting a seriously injured vehicle-accident victim. The helicopter crashed to the ground, killing all occupants, including the pilot and two crew members. The helicopter pilot had identified the nearby electric power lines when landing the helicopter, but overlooked their location during takeoff. The incident occurred at night, making it much more difficult to see the power lines. • A hot air balloon left the ground, ascended toward and then contacted an overhead electric power line. The balloon caught fire and crashed into a field, resulting in two fatalities and one serious injury. The cause of the incident was determined to be pilot error in the selection of the takeoff site and the use of an unapproved aluminum fuel tank, which ignited the basket. These incidents reinforce the importance of utility Public Safety Communications Programs. Pilot awareness of the hazards associated with overhead electric power lines may have prevented these tragedies.
Developing a Public Safety Communications Program
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